June is Pride Month, when people worldwide celebrate the progress made in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and advocate for further action. For companies, Pride Month provides an opportunity to show support for the LGBTQ+ community internally and externally.
Educate your employees
One of the most effective ways to support Pride Month is to educate your employees about LGBTQIA+ issues and how they can be allies.
- offering training sessions
- hosting guest speakers
- providing educational resources on topics such as gender identity, intersectionality, and LGBTQIA+ history, including LGBTQIA+ History Month in October
These actions will help create a more inclusive workplace and make your employees feel supported.
Offer LGBTQIA employee resource groups
Creating employee resource groups (ERGs) specifically for LGBTQIA+ employees can help foster a sense of community and provide support. ERGs can also help promote diversity and inclusion within the company and provide networking and professional development opportunities. If your company already has an LGBTQIA+-focused ERG, get ideas and input on how they would like to see your company recognize Pride Month.
Update company policies
Reviewing and updating company policies to be more inclusive of LGBTQIA+ employees can send a strong message of support. This can include updating dress codes to be gender-neutral, offering gender-neutral restrooms, inclusive parental leave, and ensuring that health insurance policies cover gender-affirming care.
Use your platform to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights
Companies have a unique platform and can use it to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. This can include partnering with LGBTQIA+ organizations to support their initiatives, publicly supporting LGBTQ+ rights, and using marketing and advertising campaigns to promote diversity and inclusion.
Host, sponsor & participate in Pride Month celebrations
Finally, organizing, supporting, and participating in Pride Month events is a great way to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. This can include hosting company-wide events, participating in Pride parades, and volunteering with a local organization that supports LGBTQIA+ youth. Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community by celebrating Pride Month can show your company’s desire to create a more inclusive workplace.
Examples of company support of Pride Month:
Google has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and in 2021, they celebrated Pride Month by hosting virtual events and offering LGBTQ+ awareness training for employees.
Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream company known for its progressive values, celebrated Pride Month in 2021 by launching a new flavor called “Rainbow Remixed” and donating a portion of the proceeds to LGBTQ+ organizations.
Apple, a long-time leader in promoting diversity and inclusion, celebrated Pride Month the last two years by releasing a limited-edition Apple Watch band and hosting virtual Pride parades.
Disney plans to host a significant LGBTQ+ rights conference (Out & Equal) in central Florida in September, with dozens of high-profile US brands expected to attend, including Apple, Uber, and Walmart.
Supporting Pride Month is an essential component of a company’s DEI&B strategy. By creating a more inclusive workplace, you’ll attract and retain diverse talent, improve employee morale and productivity, strengthen your brand reputation, and positively impact a more equitable society.