June is recognised as Pride Month nationwide in the UK, in addition to many countries across the globe. As the recognition month draws to a close, we examine six ways to help you celebrate the milestone accordingly, in the workplace.
Pride Month celebrates the turning point in the Gay Liberation Movement also known as The Stonewall Uprising - Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ+ pride, the LGBTQ+ community, and spreads awareness on the ongoing LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
Pride Month’s ethos embodies positive self-affirmation, dignity, the celebration of gender and sexual diversity, striving for equal rights, building a community, and increasing the visibility of the LGBTQ+ social group.
Five years after the UK legalised gay relationships, the first Pride festival was held in 1972 on 1st July in London. The festival celebrates the gay community and supports equal rights, a celebration that continues today.
Although there has been progress in LGBTQ+ rights, there is still a lot of space for improvement - to ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally in and outside of work. Pride Month is a great occasion to welcome conversations of workplace diversity and inclusion and to investigate how you could improve your workplace for everyone.
Every year Pride month sees more than one million people celebrating the event in the UK's capital - why not join in with your workforce. Find out how below:
1. “what do we want?” - “inclusion” “when do we want it?” - “now!”
Despite the steps taken to make the modern day workplace more diverse - many organisations still don’t have a diversity and inclusion committee. If your organisation fits this description why not implement change instead of waiting for it by creating a committee.
Your committee could be the voice of reason that many need when tackling issues that affect LGBTQ+ and diversity communities such as: mindful and inclusive office culture, and analysing recruitment practices to guarantee accessibility to people from all backgrounds and spheres of society. You can encourage communication and awareness initiatives, organise events promoting awareness, and correct work policies to make them inclusive.
This committee can be used to better the workplace for the LGBTQ+ community, whilst also using the ethos of equality to represent other communities too such as BAME, neurodivergent, and differently abled workers.
Many studies show that an inclusive and diverse workplace is more successful, productive and innovative - highlighting that inclusion is as much of a business issue as it is a social one.
2. charity begins at home.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies can give your organisation a positive social imprint, while also improving your brand image and reputation.
Companies with CSR policies are able to introduce volunteering into their agenda to give back to charities and their local communities.
Pride Month can be the perfect occasion to turn your CSR initiatives to LGBTQ+ issues and urge employees to support local LGBTQ+ charities directly. Alternatively, you could also donate your time, or organise a fundraiser, car wash, or bake sale among other activities to support an LGBTQ+ charity.
Regardless of which of these you choose to do your efforts will be appreciated.
3. wave your LGBTQ+ flag high!
This year’s Pride Month has showcased many company’s creativity and support for the LGBTQ+ community with many incorporating the colours of the LGBTQ+ flag into their company logos.
Customising logos and merchandise is a good way to increase visibility to the LGBTQ+ cause and Pride Month. More visibility can result in more support for both the LGBTQ+ community and your company from those who see you supporting the LGBTQ+ community so openly.
Your organisation will be viewed as a supportive and inclusive place to work and do business with.
4. counselling that makes a difference.
Employees from LGBTQ+, BAME, Neurodivergent and differently abled communities have a higher risk of experiencing higher rates of mental health-related issues than people who don’t fit into these groups. This is due to these groups being more likely to be subjected to marginalisation, harassment and hatred.
To combat this, counselling and support services should be made readily available all year round to employees. Ensuring there is a place for employees to confide in a trained counsellor in confidence can be life-saving. Simply having someone to talk to can help issues from escalating and decrease levels of stress and depression.
Pride Month is the perfect reminder to look at your company’s policies surrounding counselling, therapy and support. Check if there are systems in place to provide appropriate support for everyone. If there isn’t - build infrastructure to put these support systems in place.
5. turn a monthly tradition into all year activism.
Prioritise putting policies in place that combat diversity and inclusion related issues all year long. Pride Month brings visibility to the LBGTQ+ community and the issues they face, but these issues don’t just disappear when Pride Month is over.
Let Pride Month inspire you to make an action plan that fits into your organisation's HR policies and corporate vision. This could result in permanent policy changes, bringing in new resources, or creating new job roles to support minority groups.
6. join in with the Pride Month fun.
If you’re close enough to any major cities and want to join in with the Pride festivities bring your team along to show your support. You’ll be making an important and supportive statement just by being there.
However, you decide to celebrate Pride Month - be a force of change by showing your support!
what does your company do to celebrate pride month at work?
We’d love to hear your stories on social media. Mention us on Twitter using #PrideMonth to share your stories - we look forward to hearing them. Happy Pride Month!