Have you noticed the rainbow takeover of company logos as you scroll through your social feeds? It must be Pride Month again. The celebration of LGBTQ+ equality and those who’ve fought for it has become something of a “branded holiday,” an opportunity for companies to prove cultural relevance.
As a gay person, I applaud everyone who shows their support. We need it. But sometimes these gestures seem to be more about showing than actually supporting. Are there real actions behind all these rainbow-colored logos? Are these companies serious about supporting the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year, or is this just about jumping on the Pride bandwagon?
The next time you’re invited to a meeting about what your company should do for Pride Month, here are some things to think about instead of that rainbow-colored logo.
- Do you ask and listen? Does your company provide safe platforms for employees to give feedback and share their stories? Do you have discussions with LGBTQ+ employees about how to provide meaningful support, both within the company and outside of it?
- Do you stamp out toxicity? Do you equip the entire company with the training and skills to identify, address, and avoid toxic culture? Does your company promote respect for identity preferences, and encourage you to call out discrimination when you see it? Are there consequences for toxic behavior?
- Do you do the research? Does your company work with or for organizations that have blatantly anti-LGBTQ+ policies? If your company supports an LGBTQ+ cause, does it do the research on how its donation will be used, and share its impact with employees?
- Do you take diversity and inclusion seriously? Does your company include Diversity & Inclusion best practices in your hiring process, and are hiring managers trained to avoid bias? Do you see marginalized people represented in your company, at your events, and in your work?
- Are you making an impact? Are you just showing that you support LGBTQ+ causes, or are you doing something? Look for ways to support and get involved with the LGBTQ+ community in a way that relates directly to your business or industry. For Pride Month, Ueno commissioned artwork by three amazing artists who identify as LGBTQ+ — Nanna de Jong, Jon Key and Violeta Noy. Check them out, and please consider seeking out artists from marginalized communities for your next project.
By investing in equality for all employees and the communities in which we work, companies can take an authentic stance when showing their support during Pride month and throughout the year – and really make a difference.