Every June, Pride Month is celebrated to:
While there are lots of positive and fun aspects to Pride Month celebrations, the more meaningful aims of this month should also be taken seriously, and not forgotten about. A fundamental aspect of Pride Month is to increase visibility around continued LGBTQ+ oppression around the world.
A Brief History of Pride Month
Pride Month is celebrated in June to coincide with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City in 1969. These riots began following a police raid on a bar in Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn, a popular spot for LGBTQ+ individuals.
On June 28th, 1969, police came into the bar and arrested various bar employees. Those in attendance, frustrated, angry, and sick of “being harassed, arrested and prosecuted simply for being who they were” (Marie-Amélie George, LGBTQ+ history expert), fought back and confronted law enforcement. This escalated into wider protests and riots lasting for five days.
Why is it Important to Celebrate Pride Month in the Workplace?
While celebrating diversity, focusing on inclusion, and fostering a supportive, welcoming and accepting environment is important all year round (not just each June!), Pride Month is a great opportunity for businesses to really home in on these ideals and determine what they mean within a company setting.
Business owners – Pride Month is a great opportunity to make your employees feel safe, supported, welcome and accepted, allowing them to thrive. It is also an opportunity to take a definitive stand against discrimination and inappropriate comments in the workplace, creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ activism within your organization.
So, let’s get into our 13 ways to celebrate Pride Month at Work in 2022!
1. Recognize Pride Month on Your Company Platforms
There are various ways to put a celebratory Pride message out into the world and communicate your brand values.
As a business, you can:
2. Invite Employees to Specify Their Pronouns
Pronouns can be introduced under an employee’s name on things such as:
You can even hold a special meeting to launch this initiative, where employees can go around, introduce themselves and state their gender pronouns.
3. Donate to an LGBTQ+ Charity
A great way to demonstrate your support for the LGBTQ+ community is to put your money where your mouth is and make a company donation to an LGBTQ+ organization or charity dedicated to helping this community.
There are various ways of making a donation. You can:
to vulnerable youth in need of support.
4. Organize Company Volunteering
If your company is not in a financial position to be able to donate money, why not organize a staff volunteering day for LGBTQ+ causes? Alternatively, you could even set up a partnership with an LGBTQ+ organization that is low on resources, to volunteer valuable professional skills.
One such organization could be ILGA WORLD (standing for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association); this association often looks for volunteers to assist them with conferences or other tasks including graphic design, translation, and proofreading.
5. Lost a Diversity Training Workshop
Education is key to empowering your employees; one of the most valuable ways to celebrate Pride Month at work is to bring in a qualified professional to facilitate an inclusion or diversity session.
Whether this session takes place in person or online (depending on your company’s work from home structure), helping employees to understand LGBTQ+ terms and issues faced by the community, as well as celebrating inclusivity, can make for real, positive change in your professional environment.
6. Hire an LGBTQ+ Speaker
While official training can be extremely valuable, sometimes a simple, personal story also works wonders. Inviting an LGBTQ+ speaker to come to your workplace and give a talk, shedding light on their own experiences as a member of the community, is a wonderful way to create and foster allyship.
You can even make this a lunch and learn session! Combining an educational opportunity with a complementary lunch for your team = a winning event! (Although if it’s not a lox and rainbow bagel spread, we don’t wanna know…)
7. Re-evaluate Your Company’s Discrimination and Diversity Policies
Does your company have an official discrimination and diversity policy? If so, when’s the last time you examined it? Pride Month is a great opportunity to revisit this and make any necessary changes.
A strong policy will clearly and explicitly outline your company values, as well as demonstrate to your employees the gravity of these issues. The very process of redacting or improving company policy is bound to spark important conversations around workplace bias, so this is a win-win!
8. Decorate Your Office
Whether it be rainbow balloons, colorful flags, or slogan banners, decorating your office for Pride Month can be a great way to boost office morale and bring some color and cheer to your workspace.
Various studies, including this one from the University of Texas, have shown that workplace colors have a real and tangible impact on employees’ productivity; bland or dull tones can induce feelings of sadness and depression.
So, this is a doubly positive measure to implement this Pride Month!
9. Show Pride Through the Way You Dress
Incorporating Pride Month celebrations into your workplace dress code can be a fantastic way of getting employees involved in the spirit of the month.
There are many different ways to do this; try encouraging your team to come to work wearing a rainbow accessory one day, or even make rainbow badges for your employees to wear during Pride Month. You could even gift your employees a colorful, company-branded Pride Month T-shirt!
10. Change your Zoom Background
Most of us are still using Zoom and/or other virtual meeting platforms, in one way or another, despite being back at the office either partially or full-time.
A simple and effective way to honor and acknowledge Pride Month throughout the month of June is to change your Zoom background to a pride-themed one. Challenge your team to do the same and see how creative everyone can get!
11. Host an Office Party
Nothing says celebration more than a party! Workplace parties provide a great opportunity for employees to socialize and bond with one another, bringing teams closer together.
You can even make a playlist featuring iconic LGBTQ+ musicians or known LGBTQ+ allies! Here are a few of our suggestions:
12. Organize a Pride-Themed Office Book Club
Book Clubs are great for encouraging open conversation around important issues and listening to other people’s points of view. In honor of Pride Month, why not organize a pride-themed office book club session? Choose a book by either a non-heterosexual author or one that centers around issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
The aim is to come back together once everybody has read the book, and hold a formal discussion to talk about people’s interpretations, what it meant to them, how the book has impacted them, and what action they may want to take subsequently. Dig deep and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
13. Attend a Non-Workplace Pride Event with Coworkers
While Pride Month initiatives within the workplace should be welcomed and encouraged, celebrating Pride with coworkers outside of the office environment is also a great alternative.
Attend an LGBTQ+ Pride Parade with your coworkers or go to a local restaurant or bar either owned by, managed by, or popular within the LGBTQ+ community. These are all excellent ways to show your support.
And there you have it!
Our 13 top tips for celebrating Pride Month in a professional setting. Remember: these initiatives are not simply there for companies to box-tick, or publicly parade as a badge of honor (aka rainbow washing). Neither should they be a one-year thing and then forgotten about in subsequent years.
Make it an office tradition to celebrate Pride Month each year and be creative with your ideas. These 13 suggested initiatives have the common aim of promoting safer, more welcoming, and more inclusive workspaces (and having a lot of fun in the process!). Remember, Pride is for all year round (not just for the month of June!).
Wishing you a very Happy Pride Month, from the entire Sunday Citizen team. Love wins, always ❤️.