Building an authentic Employer Brand through employee voices
28 Sep, 2023
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Pride Month is when we celebrate and raise awareness of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community – commonly referred to as LGBTQ+. The ‘+’ sign stands for anyone in the community who does not fit under these labels, because Pride is all about being accepted for who you are.
Pride Month is in June every year, commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. These were a series of pro-LGBTQ+ protests sparked by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar. The Stonewall riots are considered the key event that helped us move towards LGBTQ+ rights, in the USA and worldwide. Pride Month is celebrated every year, meaning it can be a great reminder of how far LGBTQ+ rights have come since Stonewall, but also that equality and diversity still has long ways to go, in both the workplace and broader society.
The symbol of Pride is typically the rainbow, originally designed by the American artist Gilbert Baker. The rainbow is a powerful symbol showing the beauty of diverse people coming together. This is still the primary Pride flag today, though there are also many other flags and symbols with specific meanings related to Pride.
Pride is important in society because it celebrates and accepts our natural diversity, and the same goes for the workplace. Embracing diversity and equality creates a supportive work environment for your employees.
The LGBTQ+ community has faced prejudice, exclusion, and violence. While these problems are becoming less prevalent, it’s still important to show people that you are creating a safe workplace for all different types of people. Celebrating Pride opens up communication, which helps everyone in the company understand one another better. You might even find that if celebrating Pride paves the way for discussing other diversity and equality issues. Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace creates a healthy, safe work environment where employees feel supported.
As well as simply building a great workplace culture and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating Pride sends an important message – a message that can become a valuable part of your employer branding. If you want to attract the best talent, you want people to know they will be safe and respected in their workplace. This is one aspect where user-generated videos can shine and show your stance on LGBTQ+ as a company.
There are lots of different ways you could celebrate Pride in your workplace. You don’t have to do anything big or showy. Often, smaller ways of celebrating Pride are likely to be better received, appearing more genuine and less about brand-promotion. Of course, you might have LGBTQ+ community members or allies who want to do a bigger show of support, so the most important thing is to tailor your Pride celebration to your workplace and listen to your team.
Here are some ideas of how to celebrate Pride at work. With remote working still common, you should include some celebrations for people in your office as well as remote workers, making sure that everyone feels included.
There’s always something new to learn about how to be an inclusive ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Look at hosting a workshop for your company and include user-generated videos for diversity of your LGBTQ+ employees or customers saying what Pride means to them – if they’re comfortable with it, of course.
There are still a lot of LGBTQ+ causes that need support, and a charitable donation is a great way to show that you want to help. You could do fundraising in the office with a bake sale, fun run, or dress up in rainbow clothes. There are so many creative ways to do a fun-filled fundraiser — the sky’s the limit!
Want to inspire a bit of LGBTQ+ cheer? Why not fill your office – or at least your webcam – with rainbows? Get everyone involved with Pride-themed Zoom backgrounds. This would also be a great moment to record some Pride-positive messages to make into a user-generated video to kick off next year’s Pride Month, or post on your social media.
Social media is a great place to promote diversity and inclusion, and it’s an ideal place to post user-generated videos. Combine impactful diversity & inclusivity storytelling through user-generated videos with social media, ensuring that your message about equality is strong enough to attract new talent and show customers and clients your values.
Want to make sure everyone feels included but have remote workers? A virtual Pride parade can help everyone in your company come together in the name of inclusivity. You can encourage people to dress in rainbow clothing or have rainbow makeup, just like in regular Pride parades. Of course, you could also plan to attend an in-person Pride parade locally as a group.
Similar to an inclusion workshop, host a casual Lunch & Learn event to help your employees bond over some good food and some inclusivity education. Encourage people to bring rainbow-coloured cakes to share. This casual setting can be great way to encourage your employees to ask questions about LGBTQ+ issues.
If your employees are comfortable doing so, asking them to share their pronouns or orientations can help show the diversity you already have in the workplace. This could also make a great video to show potential new LGBTQ+ employees that you are a diverse and welcoming workplace. A big factor in Pride is showing that LGBTQ+ people are welcome everywhere, so this is a great message to get across.
Of course, we need to make sure the LGBTQ+ employees really are welcome everywhere and any celebrations might look hollow if your diversity policies aren’t up to scratch. Pride Month is a great time to assess your policies. If your employees are comfortable, ask for feedback on how you can improve diversity and equality.
If you don’t know where to start and you’re worried you might miss the mark on diversity, there are plenty of organisations and consultants that can help. A diversity awareness training session can be useful for you and your employees with the opportunity to ask questions and get expert advice.
Pride Month is a great time to show how you embrace equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the workplace, but it’s not the only time when this matters. Equality and diversity should be embraced all year round.
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It is also very important to remember that, while Pride Month and rainbows can look like a big celebration, to a lot of people it is a very important time of the year, because it highlights the struggles they still face. That’s why any show of equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be genuine and heartfelt. Pride has become a buzzword in some sectors, and an insincere display of acceptance for Pride Month can actually harm your employer or customer-facing branding.
Even once June ends, look into the long-term ways you can champion diversity. A key part of this is to make sure that any diversity policies you have are followed and updated, when needed.
It’s a good idea to look into how user-generated content can promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As well as sending a strong message, it’s a great way to get more people involved in creating supportive content to help everyone feel included, whether or not they are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride is a major occasion around the world. It can be a celebration, as well as a time to assess how we approach and value the people around us, whatever their orientation or gender. Start planning your Pride celebrations and show your support for equality.
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28 Sep, 2023