As pride draws to a close we thought we would sit down and write this blog on how we can continue all the positive intentions and activism that occurs during June throughout the year. As pride is more than just a flag-waving exercise it’s a celebration of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and how hard they have fought as well as a reminder that there is still work to do particularly for our cis and hetero allies.
Pride is not just a month, Instagram post, story repost, or blog (we know ironic) but a genuine approach to how you wish to operate and the future you envision living in. Creating a truly inclusive workplace is beyond just diversity – it is about belonging and ensuring that your colleagues and employees can be their most authentic selves at work. According to HBR letting people be themselves is one of the sure-fire ways to get on the path to creating the best workplace on earth. Nurturing individuality does more than just support the mental health of your employees but can drastically change workplace culture for the better.
This takes us back to the conversation our founder Cate Murden had last year with futurist Adah Parris on Creating Cultures that Enable Peak Performance. We need to move beyond budget and time with regards to matters of Diversity and Inclusion and focus on belonging. 6.5 million people feel that they cannot bring their whole selves to work and 43% of those people feel like their colleagues don’t really know who they are according to a 2020 Mental Health First Aid Report. We spend at least 8 hours a day in the workplace – so being seen and heard SHOULD definitely matter and be at the forefront of our minds when looking to build a thriving workplace.
Here are our 5 tips for how you can carry the spirit of pride forward with you over the next year.
1. Allyship is more than just waving a flag once a year.
Remember to carry the spirit of pride with you each and every day. Coming all out in support of LGBTQ+ rights once a year doesn’t battle homophobia or the hate crimes and discrimination members of that community face daily.
2. Lean into discomfort
Interrogate your organisation and identify what changes are needed and build them into a long-term actionable plan. Rather than a few diversity and inclusion exercises once a year, build a strategy to make your workplace more inclusive that is actionable and worked on throughout the year so that your LGBTQ+ employees feel valued and taken care of day after day.
3. Have a dialogue with your LGBTQ+ employees
Make sure that your LGBTQ+ employees feel like they have a safe space in which they can express their concerns over treatment and be included in the conversation about the aforementioned actionable plan. Diversity and Inclusion is not a top-down exercise it is a collective effort.
4. Educate yourself
If you’re a leader or frankly anyone and everyone should educate themselves about the trials and tribulations of the LGBTQ+ community. The best way to battle ignorance is to educate and the best way to do that is to be informed by the real lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.
- It’s a Sin
- The Queen
- The Times of Harvey Milk
- To My Trans Sisters by one of our amazing coaches Charlie Craggs
- Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez
5. Respect people’s boundaries – empathy is key
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are first and foremost human and individuals. Respect their personal boundaries. Everyone is at a different stage in accepting or understanding their sexual or gender identity. Not all questions are okay nor are jokes, if you have to think twice about it, you may be in need of reevaluating your biases.