Pride month, unfortunately, has sometimes felt like a marketing ploy for a lot of companies to flex values they otherwise don’t have outside of the month of June (especially internally). It’s actually a running joke. Here are some tips to help you be truly inclusive, all-year round within your organization:
Work without labels: Everyone is more than a label, and wants to be treated as such. As much as Pride month gives the LGBTQ+ community a chance to shine, it’s also great knowing that one’s orientation does not define them. Creating that environment of inclusivity without making people the token queer person is essential.
Have network visibility: Establishing LGBTQ+ network groups, role models, and peers, can go a long way. Seeing others expressing themselves throughout the company will encourage less confident employees to do the same.
Acknowledge and remove barriers: The first step is admitting, and change is not something done overnight. Leaders need to develop a space that addresses these underlying barriers and proactively supports people.
Adopt gender neutral language: Gender-neutral environments at work such as ‘partner’ or adopting the pronouns ‘they/them’ until someone self-identifies is becoming the standard. Everyday conversations, over email, and especially in a company’s policy is where it needs to start.
Other ways to continue being an ally:
- Do your research on the history and types of orientations and identities.
- Listen to your peers.
- Speak out if you have a conversation with someone and it concerns you.
- Role model behaviours of support and inclusivity.
- Be honest and accountable about mistakes or not understanding.
- Support local community events.
Chartered Management Institute has the full article on insights for a supportive environment that instills pride from the organization up. Check it out!