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Best practices for celebrating Pride Month at work

Celebrating Pride Month at work lets us create broader awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community and the progress made toward equality and inclusivity. It’s also an opportunity for workplaces to show their support and create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ employees and customers.

Pride flag design colored onto a paper heart, hanging in a tree.Pride flag design colored onto a paper heart, hanging in a tree.

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Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and the progress made toward equality and inclusivity. It’s also an opportunity for workplaces to show their support and create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ employees and customers. However, it can be challenging to know how to celebrate Pride Month in an authentic and respectful way. 

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Here are some best practices for celebrating Pride Month at work and creating a culture of inclusion and diversity beyond June.

1. Conduct LGBTQIA+ workplace training to help ensure everyone feels comfortable.

LGBTQIA+ workplace training helps create a culture of inclusivity and respect for all employees. LGBTQIA+ training can help you ensure that everyone understands the importance of using inclusive language and is aware of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace. Providing education and resources can create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves.

Moreover, LGBTQIA+ training can help reduce the risk of discrimination, harassment or bias that LGBTQIA+ employees may face. Awareness training can help break down stereotypes, promote understanding and foster a more accepting and inclusive culture.

Of course, it's important to note that LGBTQIA+ workplace training should not be a one-time event but an ongoing process integrated into the company culture. By providing regular training and education opportunities, you can ensure that all employees have the knowledge and skills necessary to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone.

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2. Bring people together to learn while celebrating Pride Month at work.

Employees are usually grateful to learn alongside their colleagues and hear stories and lived experiences from incredible instructors. From personal stories to advice on having difficult conversations with kids, learning together helps employees feel more inspired and more empowered with the tools to be better allies, parents or loved ones.

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3. Be overt as you demonstrate support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Being overt in demonstrating support for the LGBTQIA+ community is a meaningful way to create a workplace culture that is truly inclusive and supportive. Meaningful actions go beyond simply putting up a rainbow flag or changing your company logo during Pride Month. Instead, it involves taking concrete steps to support LGBTQIA+ employees and communities throughout the year.

One way to be overt in your support is to participate in LGBTQIA+ events and sponsor organizations that advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. Consider supporting a local Pride parade or sponsoring an LGBTQIA+ organization. Ensure you demonstrate your company's commitment to the community and provide opportunities for employees to get involved and show their support.

It's also important to use inclusive language in all company communications and to ensure that all policies and benefits are inclusive of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Policies should include gender-neutral options in forms and documents and inclusive healthcare benefits that cover gender-affirming treatments.

Finally, be sure to visibly recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of LGBTQIA+ employees. Celebrations can include highlighting their accomplishments in company-wide communications, providing opportunities for them to take on leadership roles and creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that specifically support the LGBTQIA+ community. Taking overt actions to demonstrate support can create a workplace culture where all employees feel valued and included.

4. Create a calendar of programming for celebrating Pride Month at work.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Host a book club discussing a novel written by an LGBTQ+ author or that centers on LGBTQ+ voice/storytelling.
  • Organize a watch party for a movie featuring a gay character.
  • Donate to a charity that helps LGBTQIA+ youth.
  • Encourage people to share their pronouns with their email signatures and Zoom names.
  • Create gender-neutral bathrooms in your office environment.
  • LGBTIA+ ally training workshop.
  • Company Pride flag raising ceremony.
  • Volunteer day at a local LGBTQIA+ organization.
  • LGBTQIA+ trivia.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Remember to consult with members of the LGBTQIA+ community within your organization to ensure that the programming is respectful, appropriate, and truly representative of their needs and interests.

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