Pride Guide – Celebrating In The Workplace
With Pride Month upon us, many employers are rolling out the rainbow logos and raising the rainbow flags outside of company headquarters, celebrating the contributions of the LGBTQ community both in and outside the organization—riding a growing wave toward corporate inclusion in recent years. Efforts to broaden the diversity umbrella have certainly exploded: The Human Rights Campaign’s annual benchmarking survey, the Corporate Equality Index, for instance, is now in its 20th year with a record 1,271 companies that participated, including 379 of the Fortune 500. According to the survey, 93% of participants offer comprehensive practices to support LGBTQ diversity.
However, despite that progress, sustainable success on LGBTQ inclusion isn’t a guarantee without a genuine commitment. Here at Integrity Staffing Solutions, founded and helmed by members of the LGBTQ community, we appreciate the depth and breadth of the work that goes into making a truly inclusive organization—one where employees and clients of all identities feel not only welcomed but valued and celebrated. Here are just a few of the ways we have found to create that environment—starting with a few practices to avoid:
- Rely on other employers’ strategies: Creating and communicating a culture of LGBTQ inclusion can’t be a copy-and-paste effort. While many organizations have made impressive strides in this work, each employer must come from a place of authenticity, instituting programs, policies and practices tailored to their unique employee population.
- Think of Pride as a once-a-year occasion: Although the month of June is the official annual celebration of Pride, investing all of your efforts to advance LGBTQ inclusion just within that 30-day period may have you missing the mark. It’s key for business leaders to create a strategy that allows employees to feel supported year-round. Employee resource groups and community partnerships can be key tools in this work.
- Give workers a voice: The value of employee feedback has become one of the most important lessons of the pandemic for many organizations, as employers have witnessed how they can reap the benefits of high engagement and morale when they tune into what employees want on issues like flexibility and remote work. Employees should also have a say when it comes to building a diverse and inclusive culture—and can actually be a primary driver of the success of such efforts. Allowing LGBTQ employees to share their stories in town halls, Pride events and other programming is a great way to spread awareness while also emphasizing to employees that each of their unique identities is important to the fabric of the organization—both during Pride month and beyond.
- Consider all of your stakeholders: While the workforce is often the focus of many employers during Pride month, it’s not only current employees who can benefit from robust LGBTQ inclusion efforts. Creating a genuine culture that values all employees can help organizations recruit top talent in the years to come, as well as establish valuable partnerships with clients and community organizations.
Pride Month may only last 30 days but, by making a deep commitment to advancing LGBTQ equality in the organization and beyond, employers can create a culture of inclusion year-round.