4 Ideas for Celebrating Pride Month at Your Organization
According to a LinkedIn survey, nearly 24% of participating professionals weren’t open about their identity in the workplace, and 26% of the survey participants were worried that being open would cause coworkers to treat them differently.
With Pride Month in full swing, there’s plenty that employers can do to make sure that LGBTQ employees not only feel comfortable in the workplace, but also celebrated. Read on for ways that employers can celebrate Pride Month and support their LGBTQ team members.
What is Pride Month and Why is it Important?
Pride Month is rooted in resistance to the historic discrimination against the LGBTQ community. The month honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising—also known as the Stonewall Riots—when police raided Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Manhattan, on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall Uprising and riots that followed are considered the “tipping point” of the Gay Liberation Movement, according to the Library of Congress.
The following year, organizers planned a march to Central Park, building on the spirit of resistance, and “adopted the theme of ‘Gay Pride’ as a counterpoint to the prevailing attitude of shame,” according to Them, an online LGBTQ magazine. This was only the beginning for the march. Now, Pride Month is celebrated every June in cities across the country.
According to the Library of Congress, “The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.”
How Can Employers Celebrate Pride Month?
Organizations can and should commit to supporting LGBTQ employees as part of their everyday company culture. With this said, during the month of June, here are ways to celebrate Pride at your organization:
1. Organize Pride Office Celebrations
Treat your employees to a mid-day break with Pride-themed treats and goodies. You could also go a step further by supporting local LGBTQ-owned businesses and giving your employees treats from those businesses.
2. Attend Pride Parades as a Group
Most major cities have some sort of Pride celebration, whether it’s a parade, festival, or other type of event. Organizations can help employees celebrate Pride Month by planning to attend the parade or events as a group, sponsoring parking passes or rides to and from the event, or even getting involved and marching in the parade itself.
3. Plan a Pride Reading Challenge
Since Pride Month happens during the summer, many employees may be out of the office on vacation or spend more time reading by the pool. Organizations can host a Pride reading challenge by encouraging employees to read books with Pride-related themes or books written by LGBTQ authors. Here is a list to get you started!
4. Update Your Workplace Policies to Support LGBTQ Employees
Honoring Pride Month is important, but taking steps to support LGBTQ employees year round is even more important. Actionable ways to do this includes educating employees on available resources, creating a gender-inclusive workplace using communication, include Pride events and celebration information in employee newsletters, and updating your organization’s employee handbook or Culture Guide to expand your harassment and discrimination policies to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation.