6 ways to celebrate Pride Month at work in 2021
The start of summer is the perfect time to celebrate self-identity, inclusivity, and equality. June is (usually) when Pride Month parades sweep across cities in all their rainbow-coloured glory. Given that, don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic dampen your spirits this year. In fact, you can even celebrate Pride Month at work. Here is Pacific Prime UK’s guide to celebrating Pride Month at work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Pride Month?
The police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a safe haven for the gay community, on June 28, 1969. Patrons fought back and the police responded in violence. Known as the first Pride march, the series of riots that followed evolved into the Pride Month you know today.
Why should you celebrate Pride at work?
Short answer: it’s always a good time to celebrate diversity at your workplace. Pride Month pays tribute to your LGBTQ+ staff and all the work they’ve done for your company. Aside from making them feel appreciated, you also help create a sense of belonging at work. This leads to motivated, happier employees, and higher talent retention. LGBTQ+ people are known to experience mental health issues at higher rates, making solidarity at the workplace all the more important. Here are several tips on what to do when your employee discloses a mental health issue.
As the cherry on top, progressive companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets because of the benefits diversity brings. Consumers nowadays are more morally conscious, and hold businesses accountable for their stance on many social issues. What’s more, LGBTQ+ people are likely to make up a sizable portion of your client base. Hence, a diverse company that celebrates Pride Month can make everybody feel welcomed.
1. Decorate your workplace with rainbow flags
Send your LGBTQ+ employees a clear message of support by publicly celebrating Pride Month. Decorating your office in rainbow colours is an easy way to achieve this. It shows that all staff are celebrated in your office and that you will not stand for discrimination. By doing so, you’ll also show that your company is a safe place for employees to be open about their identity.
2. Organize inclusivity training to celebrate Pride Month at work
Cultivate a welcoming environment at your company by hosting an inclusion workshop to celebrate Pride Month at work. Educate your team on the importance of using the correct terminology to prevent misgendering and saying hurtful phrases. Many employees are well-meaning but lack familiarity when it comes to using the correct terms. Unfortunately, sometimes, LGBTQ+ workers have to set boundaries to protect their mental health. With guidance from the LGBTQ+ advocates and experts, your workers will pick up the nuances in no time. It goes without saying that they will also carry this knowledge outside of work.
3. Embrace preferred pronouns and gender neutrality
On a related note, respect all employees’ preferred pronouns and the gender(s) they identify (or don’t identify) with. Naturally, this extends to the names your LGBTQ+ employees prefer to be known by. Eliminate gendered washrooms by removing the Male/Female signs from the washroom doors or set up a gender-neutral one.
Asking for someone’s preferred pronouns during your first meeting with them is another important way to include LGBTQ+ people. Take the lead by including your own preferred pronouns in your email signature.
4. Host a LGBTQ+ speaker
Don’t let remote working stop you from hosting a LGBTQ+ speaker online. This is someone who understands and relates to many of the struggles and experiences your LGBTQ+ workers face. In addition, it will open the eyes of their straight colleagues and promote understanding and morale.
5. Raise money for LGBTQIA+ charities
Actions speak louder than words. They create genuine, positive impacts both at your workplace and in the gay community. Donate to LGBTQIA+ charities, such as Stonewall or Switchboard. You can also plan company-wide fundraisers like bake sales and raffle ticket sales. Alternatively, volunteer at these non-profit organizations as a team. If the social distancing protocols in your city permit, book a slot at your local Pride parade.
6. Evaluate your discrimination & diversity policies
A successful workplace is an amalgamation of people from different walks of life. Thus, it’s important to include people of various races, genders, sexualities for the perspectives and talent they bring to your company. It’s important to evaluate your discrimination and diversity policies regularly to make sure your workers feel welcomed and included.
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