As LGBTQ+ communities continue to face prejudice and exclusion, Pride Month is just as important as ever.
In fact, according to LinkedIn, 24% LGBTQ+ employees say they keep their identity hidden at work. And, a TUC survey found 1 in 5 workplaces do not have any policies to support LGBTQ+ staff, with women in particular bearing the brunt of underrepresentation and isolation.
Whilst there’s no doubt businesses still have lots to do to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, many organisations around the globe take time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. This approach helps highlight the ongoing struggle for equal rights, and reaffirms an organisation’s commitment to fostering inclusive and supportive workspaces for all employees.
In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of Pride Month in the workplace, benefits of embracing LGBTQ+ diversity, and offer practical tips on how your organisation can make Pride Month a meaningful and inclusive celebration for everyone on your team.
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, inviting everyone to come together and accept individuality without prejudice or bias against sexuality or gender. By spotlighting this annual celebration, people and organisations become more than just passive observers but active participants in embracing equality.
When is Pride Month in the UK?
In the UK and the US, Pride Month happens every June as a way to symbolise societal progress and emphasise inclusivity.
During this time, many organisations reinforce their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community; Executive boards revisit diversity strategies, HR conducts inclusivity seminars, and companies proudly display the rainbow emblem.
But it’s not simply about supporting a cause; it demands integrating equality, acceptance, and respect into organisational values. As June approaches, forward-thinking businesses not only celebrate but also reflect, adapt, and deepen their commitment to a diverse and inclusive future.
What is the history of Pride Month?
For corporations, understanding the historical roots of global commemorations like Pride Month is crucial. It helps shape organisational ethics and drives inclusivity.
Originating from the pivotal Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in New York, Pride Month has global implications, influencing societal and corporate narratives. It has evolved to symbolise both achieved milestones and ongoing challenges.
Why is celebrating Pride Month at work important?
In the ever-evolving corporate domain, Pride Month’s recognition holds significant weight, reflecting a firm’s commitment to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance. For businesses, acknowledging the history of Pride Month is important in fostering a genuinely inclusive corporate culture.
Whilst DE&I should be at the forefront all year round, this annual observance offers a platform to address biases and promote equity. It underscores that every employee, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is invaluable to the organisation’s success.
76% employees and job seekers said diversity was important when considering job offers. Given the increased importance of equality in organisational culture and values for employees and stakeholders, celebrating Pride Month stands as testament to a respectful and inclusive work environment.
And, an inclusive workplace has shown to be much more successful in terms of revenue as well as employee recruitment and retention. According to Mckinsey, organisations in the top quartile for gender diversity have a +25% likelihood of financially outperforming companies in the fourth quartile.
By championing equal values, corporations enhance their culture, bolster their reputation, and strengthen stakeholder trust, reinforcing the importance of inclusivity in company culture.
How to celebrate Pride Month at work in 2024?
Pride Month offers a golden opportunity for corporations to showcase their commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance.
By implementing strategies similar to top-tier employee advocacy practices, businesses can not only celebrate but also advocate the values Pride Month embodies. The right approach can create impact and high employee engagement, which is paramount as inclusivity and equality are the responsibility of all.
How you decide to celebrate Pride Month in the office will depend on your organisational budget, capacity and creativity. Here are a few Pride Month workplace ideas to get you started!
Get active on socials
Leverage your social channels as a way to promote values, share resources and spread the word. Changing your company’s profile or posting videos, blogs, LGBTQ+ quotes and more can emphasise your commitment to creating equality in the workplace to external stakeholders like your customers, suppliers and potential employees. You can even use real stories from around your organisation to strengthen your message. Find out more about using stories below.
Run workshops and panel sessions
L&D, HR and Talent teams can organise webinars and panels to educate employees about LGBTQ+ history, equal rights, personal experiences and more. Featuring internal and external experts, these sessions can be a source of valuable information and help audiences understand what they can do to make an impact.
Inject colour and fun into your workspace
Whether it’s rainbow flags in your office, your zoom background or part of your work attire, inspire participation and creativity by inviting your teams to get involved. This helps individuals show their support and promotes conversation.
Collaborate with external organisations
Key UK organisations, including Stonewall, Pride in London and UK Black Pride spearhead national Pride events and advocacy. They often set annual themes which companies can adopt for their internal campaigns, aligning with wider LGBTQ+ sentiments.
Additionally, partnerships with LGBTQ+ groups or influencers can amplify a company’s Pride efforts. Collaborations with organisations like the Terrence Higgins Trust can enhance campaign outreach.
Dust off your company policies
Pride Month at work is the ideal time to review internal policies to see how you, as an organisation, can do better. Evaluate your discrimination policies to identify areas for improvement as well as see the progress you’ve already made. If your policies and standards have DEI baked in, this will feed into company culture too.
Incorporate real stories
Stories are the best way to help us understand each other. Watching coworkers share real stories about their experiences allows everyone to take a different perspective and become more open. This makes for stronger work communities, inclusive cultures and more resilient companies.
Sharing real stories by real members and advocates of the LGBTQ+ community builds trust, empathy, understanding and solidarity within the organisation and beyond.
As video storytelling is one of the most effective strategies to share the experiences of the LQBTQ+ communities in the workplace, we’ve put together some ideas to celebrate Pride Month 2024 from our very own StoryTagger community.
Share personal LGBTQ+ stories
Sharing challenges, moments of realisation and the invaluable support of allies bridges gaps in understanding and paints a vivid picture of resilience. Invite LGBTQ+ employees to share these experiences. This allows organisations to not only showcase their commitment to diversity but also humanise the corporate environment.
Expanded Example: A finance executive sharing the mental toll of concealing one’s identity. This is an inspiring and eye-opening way to demonstrate the profound impact inclusivity has on well-being and performance at work.
StoryTagger ready-made template – My Inclusion Story
StoryTagger includes ready-made templates for your employees to share their stories. They follow a framework set by you to share their experiences in their own words. This “My Inclusion Story” template encourages colleagues to take a different perspective on the impact of bias and privilege on inclusion at work.
Tell us your name and where you work.
What aspect of inclusion will you be talking about?
Share why you’d like to share your story.
Everyday inclusion or exclusion
Share an example of where you’ve experienced inclusion or exclusion in the workplace.
Tell us what happened.
How did you feel as a result?
What can we do differently?
Share what allies can do to improve the day-to-day work experience.
Describe your hopes or ambitions for the future.
Is there a final call-to-action you’d like to share?
Host an enlightenment series:
While Pride Month has gained global recognition, misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community are still prevalent. Collaborating with activists or experts to produce short videos can dispel myths and foster enlightenment.
Expanded Example: A series titled “Understanding the LGBTQ+ community” could deep dive into specific identities. By presenting a broad spectrum of stories from different people as well as factual information, employees can enrich their perspective and deepen their understanding.
Allies play a critical role in any successful movement for rights and recognition. Sharing their stories provides a multifaceted outlook on the LGBTQ+ experience. Companies can inspire more employees to take a supportive stance by emphasising allyship.
Expanded Example: A senior manager sharing their journey of aiding a team member through transition. They could delve into their own learning curve, the measures taken to ensure a conducive environment and the bond formed through mutual respect.
Day in the life’ stories:
‘Day in the life’ videos can help debunk stereotypical views about LGBTQ+ by sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their role. These could emphasise the universality of daily challenges, aspirations and joys.
Expanded Example: A marketing assistant could explore typical challenges, what makes work easier, workplace dynamics. Such a video highlights the routine of LGBTQ+ lives, fostering empathy.
StoryTagger ready-made template – Day in the life
Tell us your name, what you do and how long you’ve been at [company].
What do you enjoy most about your role / working with us?
How did you get into this role or industry?
A typical day
What does a typical day look like for you?
Tell us about your main responsibilities or tasks.
Describe the most challenging part of your job.
What makes a typical day become THE best work day?
Wrap up and advice
What question do colleagues ask you most?
What do you wish you knew when you started?
Share any advice you have for someone considering a similar role.
Run a storytelling challenge:
Incorporating interactive elements like storytelling challenges can make Pride Month celebrations even more engaging. It not only promotes participation but also promotes a sense of camaraderie among teams.
Expanded Example: Ask people to share one step they’ve taken towards living their DE&I values. They can then challenge others to do the same. This will create lots of wonderful videos showcasing an inclusive culture which could be made into a montage to share internally or on social channels.
Find out how Amazon Alexa ran a storytelling challenge, including a step-by-step model to help you successfully run your own for any priority theme, including DEI.
How to run a storytelling challenge
An impactful way to get people to open up and share their most valuable insights.
Engaging employees in sharing Pride stories
While stories are an effective way to celebrate Pride Month in the Workplace, many of these stories are personal and sensitive, and not everyone relishes the prospect of filming themselves for work.
Confidence and technology often get in the way of people sharing their story. But, platforms like StoryTagger help everyone share brilliant work stories to inspire coworkers to thrive, learn and grow.
Guiding employees to confidently share their experiences through structured storytelling, reflective practice, built-in frameworks and ready-made templates, StoryTagger enables organisations to create impactful, authentic stories quickly and at scale.
Take a look at our guide to transforming your experts into inspiring content creators with six tips to help you optimise engagement in your Pride campaigns.
Pride Month goes beyond a simple celebration and raising awareness. It’s a powerful representation of the LGBTQ+ community, a way to open up communication and showcase your culture and values.
As Pride Month unfolds its vibrant colours, it calls on organisations to go beyond symbolic gestures. It challenges them to instil the Pride ethos in all policies, values and actions.
And there is no better way to do so than by amplifying LGBTQ+ voices and becoming a workplace where every narrative is honoured, every identity is acknowledged and the Pride spirit is embedded into every organisational endeavour.
For further insights into how you can use stories for awareness events across the globe, check out our awareness calendar.
And if you’d like to see how StoryTagger can create real impact for your DE&I campaigns, book a demo.