How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community Year-Round — Not Just During Pride Month
Pride Month is always full of celebrations for the LGBTQ+ community. Still, too many corporations tend to take on performative activism — in which they choose to show support only for the month.
They either forget about the community once June ends or actively support organizations against equality. No business wants to fall into this category. Employers can use these techniques to elevate their businesses to become a more inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and identities.
1. Include Diversity
Diversity isn’t just ensuring enough women in the workplace to balance the men. Look beyond gender and aim to have a workspace with fully diverse individuals, from gender to race to identity. Having different backgrounds in the room means a business will be full of new viewpoints and ideas. Plus, it’s an excellent way for companies to ensure they don’t accidentally put out an offensive product or marketing campaign.
Inclusion means better problem-solving, thanks to the workplace’s various backgrounds and life experiences. Businesses can celebrate differences and make it a point to include everyone, regardless of the holidays they celebrate or the customs and traditions they follow.
2. Amend Policies
As time goes on, business owners may realize that many of their policies and procedures are outdated and not as inclusive as they could be. Employers should search for any diversity-unfriendly policies and amend or remove them to avoid any instances of discrimination. Changing outdated terminology and practices around the office is another way to make staff feel welcome year-round, not just during Pride Month.
3. Get Involved Personally
Employers and leaders should educate themselves in their free time. If they aren’t part of the LGBTQ+ community, they can strive to be their best ally. Online communities have dozens of resources for anyone who wants to educate themselves. Learning more about pronouns or other genders and sexualities can open minds and help create a more welcoming work environment.
Some might think including pride decor in an office year-round is virtue signaling, but it might be just the thing to inform an employee that they can feel comfortable around their employer. Including items conveying support can make employees feel safe and like they don’t have to hide any part of their identity in the workplace for fear of discrimination.
Another easy way for people to get involved with supporting the LGBTQ+ community at home is to sign petitions. Some people may think petitions don’t mean anything, but they can bring awareness to more people when they reach a broad audience. Petitions are essential because sharing them makes people aware of the existence of an issue that needs changing.
4. Stop Supporting LGBTQ+ Unfriendly Corporations
No business can have it both ways. Supporting companies that work against the LGBTQ+ community, then turning around and advocating for them isn’t a good look, and people will find out. Business owners should stand for something — why not advocate for diversity and equality in all places?
Rather than supporting businesses actively working against these values, employers committed to equality and inclusion should focus on buying from and working with companies with the same values.
5. Invite Diverse Speakers
Now and then, employers can invite special speakers to the workplace to give employees a break from work and educational material that might change how they view things. If a manager has a close-minded worker, speakers who can bring their unique point of view might help them understand and empathize better. Special speakers can educate employees and the workplace about diversity and how to be inclusive.
Then, employers can pose challenges to ensure that employees retain the information. It might be worth getting employees to know one another deeper, as long as everyone’s comfortable with it. Understanding other people’s differences allow even the most challenging and closed-off employees to open their minds to diversity.
6. Host Fundraisers
Ensuring employees care about the fundraiser’s goal is one of the most crucial parts of running. Employers can give workers a day off if they help with a fundraiser. There are many organizations that businesses can contribute to, such as the LGBTQ Freedom Fund or The Trevor Project.
Fundraisers can also get the public to notice a business. While these companies should only fundraise for a better world, not social interaction, they may see the buzz about their work. Businesses should constantly evaluate whether they’re doing something to better society or if it’s just for “points” to get more customers or clients.
When a business does something to raise its social credit, it’s performative activism — which comes across as ingenuine. All companies should do the right thing for the cause’s sake, not to boost sales or promote awareness of their own company.
7. Listen to Feedback
When in doubt, call on a diverse perspective. Managers who want their workplaces to continue growing should implement feedback sessions. Knowing how their words and actions affect others can help employees and employers create a more welcoming environment. Employers may ask for face-to-face feedback from their employees to avoid possible confusion from digital messages.
Gaining feedback is essential to becoming a better human being. Bosses should want to hear feedback from their LGBTQ+ employees so they can know what to improve upon or how to make the workplace friendlier for all people. Employers should be used to receiving and giving feedback — so including a feedback session on inclusion in the workplace should be routine.
Follow Up With Allyship for the Rest of the Year
Being an LGBTQ+ ally should continue even once July rolls around. Business owners can employ various strategies to ensure their workplace is diverse and LGBTQ+ friendly.
People need support every month of the year, not just one. Managers can celebrate pride all year long by making changes to the workplace and helping people with diverse backgrounds, and identities feel welcome.
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist.
Get the top recruiting news and insights delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up for the Recruiter Today newsletter.