The history of pride
June is Pride Month, where we celebrate and continue to fight for equality for one of the most discluded and overlooked groups of individuals in history, the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month isn’t about slapping rainbow flags, changing your company logo to rainbow, and hashtagging #LoveIsLove. While all of that is important and supportive, pride is so much deeper than that. The celebration and culture of pride began with the Stonewall Uprising on June 2, 1969, starting with police raiding a popular gay bar in New York City. The LGBTQ+ community fought back with one of the most prominent and courageous figures being Marsha P. Johnson, who initially threw the first punch during the exchange.
As a result of the Stonewall Uprising, Pride Month is celebrated to remember and honor the past and present voices of the LGBTQ community that have and continue to fight to amplify their voices, to be respected, and to most importantly, be accepted for who they indeed are.
This month marks 51 years of the first pride parade. While, with the virus, Pride Month may not be filled with the usual and exciting festivities, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate and support the movement in and out of the workplace all year long.
PRIDE IN THE WORKPLACE
According to Guardian’s Workforce 2020 report, nearly 12 million Americans identify as LGBTQ, and 68% of American workers strongly agree that it is important that employers create an inclusive workplace culture. Companies may vocalize they promote inclusivity in the workplace, but ultimately, we can all agree that actions speak louder than words. After all, according to the Top 5 Workplace Diversity Statistics, inclusivity and diversity help produce higher revenue, more innovation, better decision making, higher rates of job acceptance when you make offers to qualified candidates and better performance than competitors.
How can you ensure that your company is championing the lives of the LGBTQ+ Community?
1. Hone in on non-discriminatory policies & procedures from the get-go
Elizabeth Warren once said that “a good education is a foundation for a better future.” In order for our workplace, community, and world to become more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, we need to educate ourselves. This starts with training and unconscious bias courses to help avoid misunderstanding and discrimination in the workplace. It is crucial to have these training sessions as a part of your onboarding process, so expectations are set and clearly understood. Hiring an inclusivity specialist is always an option to help with these training sessions!
Here are a few training resources your company can use for LGBTQ+ inclusivity 👇
- The Safe Zone Project
- LGBTQ+ Workplace Training
- LGBT Training LGBT Workplace Issues Gay Sensitivity Training
- Gender and Sexuality: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
- Anyone Can Be An Ally: Speaking up for an LGBT Inclusive Workplace
2. Hold Monthly Diversity & Inclusion Workshops
While reinforcing policies and procedures may become redundant to your employees, but it is absolutely essential to refresh and improve on these. This way, your company continues to promote a healthy, inclusive work culture. So what exactly are LGBTQ+ workshops? “LGBTQ+ inclusion workshops are hands-on training sessions where employees can learn about the dos and don’ts of supporting their LGBTQ+ colleagues. They are led by an LGBTQ+ advocate and equality expert, who provides actionable strategies for improving inclusivity.”
Holding monthly D&I workshops is a fun and unique way to both help enhance company culture and educate your employees on LBGTQ+ inclusion. There are a multitude of ways to find LGBTQ+ speakers; here are just a few resources 👇
3. Commit to Recruiting LGBTQ+ Employees
This starts with setting your intentions! Commit to LGBTQ+ inclusion by clearly stating that you fully support and are committed to providing a safe and inclusive work environment for the LGBTQ+ community. This could be as simple as having a blurb in your job descriptions stating you support LGBTQ+. Another option is to advertise how you celebrate, promote, and/or support LGBTQ+ on social media.
4. Be An Ally | Promote LGBTQ+ Networks
Ally programs are highly effective and beneficial when it comes to D&I in the workplace. With that being said, what exactly do ally groups/programs do? “Ally programs connect members of the majority and underrepresented groups, straight and LGBTQ+ employees to talk through issues in the context of a safe, supportive community.” Based on research from BGC, when attending these LGBTQ+ networking events, employees are able to recognize cultural issues better. Studies have also shown that employees are more likely to intervene when problems arise for LGBTQ+ employees. If everyone from the company buys into ally programs, they can better support and continue to nourish a happy and LGBTQ+ friendly work environment.
We asked some of our teammates what inclusivity means to them.
Here are their responses: