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How Workplaces Can Celebrate Pride

(All year round & not be performative)

There are countless ways organizations can support their LGBTQIA+ employees and community, but there are also some extremely important steps to consider to avoid performative allyship and ensure your support is intersectional and consistent. Read below to familiarize yourself with some detail on what you can do, and what to avoid this Pride Month (and every month!)

1) Educate

Consider offering a lunch & learn, seminar or share resources on the history of Pride to educate your team on how far the LGBTQIA+ rights movement has come. Enhancing our knowledge allows us to connect deeply to those around us, strengthening team and interpersonal bonds, allowing us to become stronger allies.

As Jandee Speegle, Senior People and Culture Specialist at Kazoo puts it, “We must not forget that the first Pride was not a celebration. It was a riot led by queer people of color. Pride was born out of a struggle. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought struggle back to our LGBTQIA+ communities, as we are forced to lock down with families who may not accept us, or face new risks to our health or employment."

Just like COVID-19, this struggle continues to disproportionately affect queer people of colour, heightening the importance of ensuring your educational efforts highlight intersectionality.

2) Donate

If your organization has charitable funds set aside in the budget, consider donating to local, intersectional LGBTQIA+ groups where your dollar goes directly to marginalized and vulnerable communities and individuals. Be sure to spend time researching your charities, and offer to involve your employees by taking a vote on where to donate, or even match employee contributions.

3) Support and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ Community

If you're planning a fun event to celebrate pride, be sure to source and select vendors and hosts who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. If you're purchasing pride swag for your team, follow the same best practice. Lastly, if your company is posting content about pride on social media, ensure your content creators, influencers and artists are also members of the community.

4) Build equitable and inclusive policies

We've said this before and we'll say it again - if you don't have equitable and inclusive policies and best practices, you will not be able to support a sustainably inclusive workplace culture. This means your diverse talent will turn over in search of a safer place to work. According to Alasdair James Scott, Senior Consultant at PDT Global, "cultures that embrace the diversity that the LGBTQ+ community represents help draw top talent and foster innovation, and people perform significantly better when they can be themselves at work." We're specialists in building equitable and inclusive workplaces, so reach out to us for support in getting started.

5) Hire diverse talent

You can only genuinely hire diverse talent and get them to stay if you've championed point #4. But once you're there, hiring diverse talent not only creates a safe work environment for employees from a variety of backgrounds, it also attracts top talent, making it easier to hire incredible employees. You have to make a conscious effort in your recruiting strategies to target individuals from historically marginalized communities in order for this to come to fruition - it won't just happen by accident. Having a deliberate, thoughtful and methodical strategy will go a long way. Don't know how to start? Connect with us.

6) Include Pronouns

Encourage your organization to include their pronouns in their e-mail signature, LinkedIn and Slack profile. Most Human Resources Information Systems now have fields to include pronouns for each employee. Ensuring pronouns are visible is a simple and easy way to signify that your organization is a safe space to be yourself.

About the Author: Jen Babic is the Founder and Lead Consultant at ppl stuff, a modern HR consultancy based out of Toronto, ON. She is also the Head of People and Culture at Inkbox. #pplstuff #humanresources #peopleandculture #prideatwork #celebratepride #pridemonth #HR

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