What is Pride Month?
When you think of ‘Pride’, you probably imagine celebrations and a rainbow of colours, but something you might not know is that PRIDE stands for ‘Promote Respect, Inclusion and Dignity for Everyone’. Pride is celebrated each JUNE to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in the USA where protestors fought back against the harassment suffered by the LGBTQ+ community at the hands of the police, and although it was originally a one-day event, it grew to attract millions of people all over the world celebrating each year. Pride parties, workshops and concerts are now regular events held as a way to celebrate how far the movement has come. Celebrating Pride in the workplace has become a lot more common in recent years.
Why is it Important to celebrate Pride within the workplace?
Celebrating Pride in the workplace is a great way to promote awareness and equality within the company as well as increasing understanding of the issues faced by those in the LGBTQ+ community. Whilst publicly supporting the LGBTQ+ community is of course always valued, it can become clear when it is not genuine. Support for the LGBTQ+ community should never just be a ‘once a year’ event – rushing to celebrate Pride only during June can be seen as disdainful, so it’s important to show genuine support all year round too.
Celebrating Pride in the workplace also provides a fantastic opportunity for education and promotion of pro-equality legislation. If your company is preaching a message of equality and inclusion to the masses through its marketing messages then it’s important to make sure the company’s guidelines are inclusive of every employee’s needs so they’re treated equally no matter their sexual orientation.
So what can you do?
7 Ways to Celebrate Pride at Work in 2021
1. Get Educated
We’ve all heard the saying ‘knowledge is power’. The more you know about the cause you’re supporting, the more effective that support can be. One way to increase understanding within the company is to organise workshops with guest speakers who have knowledge about the history of Pride and the current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. A greater understanding of these issues will allow us to better support LGBTQ+ employees. Furthermore, understanding the movement’s history and aims means that ‘guessing’ the best way to help is prevented, stopping the alienation of those you’re looking to support. Check out Stonewall’s campaign for Inclusivity in the Workplace for toolkits and resources to get educated.
2. Pride-themed Merchandise
Who doesn’t love some fun promotional merch? Merchandise can be a great way to visibly show support for the LGBTQ+ community not only during Pride month but all year round. Pride-themed merchandise is great way to celebrate Pride and demonstrate your companies support of the LGBTQ+ community to employees and clients. Rainbow flags, badges, hats, t-shirts, bags and stationery are all great examples of merchandise. Why not even put together a goody bag containing the lot!? Learn more about M&M’s fulfilment service for branded merchandise packs here.
Interested in Branded Pride Merch? Contact us today for a quote.
3. Social Media and Technology
Social media is a brilliant tool to reach people and get a message to an audience. Celebrating Pride can be as easy as changing your Zoom background to a Pride flag or amending your social media profile images and cover photos. Pride Month is a great opportunity to ensure your pronouns are added to your email signature. You can also show the LGBTQ+ community support by letting others know you are an LGBTQ+ ally in your email signature. Use your companies social media platforms to post educational content on Pride month and show your support for the LGBTQ+ community. Make use of your company calendar to ensure everyone is aware of any Pride events you are running.
4. Creating a Safe Space at Work
Changing your company’s profile picture on Facebook and attending an event can go a long way in showing support, but before making public statements and showing support outwardly, it’s important to make sure that you’re showing support to those within your company. If you’re preaching a message of equality and inclusion to the masses, make sure your company’s guidelines are inclusive of every employee’s needs so they’re treated equally no matter their sexual orientation.
One way you can ensure LGBTQ+ staff feel included and valued is by including them in the decision-making process related to LGBTQ+ issues. This approach could also help to avoid making ill-informed decisions that could lead to the LGBTQ+ community distancing themselves from the company. Consulting a group of staff from across the company to come up with ideas . can create a feeling of community and show the company takes onboard employee ideas and values their feedback.
5. Take Part in Local Pride Parades
A great way to celebrate pride & show support for the LGBTQ+ community is to make the effort as a company to take part in a Pride Parade. Pride paradise and events provide a great opportunity to show support, however, there are growing concerns about companies using the event as an advertising opportunity rather than offering genuine support. So to make sure your attendance at Pride events isn’t seen as insincere, make sure you are donating to LGBTQ+ causes, your company policies reflect inclusivity and aim to take part in multiple events throughout the year, to show an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.
6. Highlight the Achievements of LGBTQ+ Employees
One way in which you can show support and celebrate Pride in the workplace is by specifically celebrating the accomplishments of your staff members who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Has someone performed particularly well at work recently? Perhaps it was something they’ve done outstandingly well outside of the workplace? Whatever it is, be sure to celebrate their achievements. This could be publicly in the form of a social media post or blog post, or privately in the form of a gentle “well done”. Read more about employee appreciation through out you company here.
And finally, be sure to donate. It is so important that companies do not simply use Pride month as a marketing tool to present themselves as inclusive, they need to ensure they are also ‘putting their money where their mouth is’. Make meaningful donations to charitable LGBTQ+ causes such as Stonewall, MindOut, Give Out, LGBT Foundation. But by ‘donate’ we don’t just mean money. Donating your time to become better educated and visibly show your support of the LGBTQ+ community is equally important. All of these suggestions take time to plan and implement, and they won’t go unnoticed by both your staff who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and those who aren’t.
So there you have it – why it’s important to celebrate PRIDE in the workplace along with some handy suggestions for how you can not only do just that but also spread awareness and understanding around the issue.