A list of ways to celebrate Pride month, whether your team works remote or in the office.
Every year in June, countries around the world celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, with the goal of promoting equality, increasing visibility, and embracing self-affirmation. With inclusion and diversity more important than ever, your workplace has an opportunity this June to recognize the contributions of your LGBTQIA+ colleagues, educate your company about their history, and celebrate inclusivity and diversity.
Why is Pride Month celebrated In June?
Pride month is celebrated in June because of the Stonewall Uprising, when a gay club in New York City was raided by police, provoking a riot between the police and patrons. This uprising is considered one of the most significant events to spark the gay rights movement. Celebrations in June range from parades, to concerts, to street festivals. Below we list 6 ways you can celebrate Pride Month at work, for both remote working situations, and companies who are back at the office.
6 ways to celebrate pride month at work
Before planning anything, be sure to ask your LGBTQIA+ employees for their input because their ideas and suggestions are most valuable. This could be done by asking your existing LGBTQIA+ employee resource group (ERG), or soliciting anonymous input so your employees don’t feel singled out.
Host an LGBTQIA+ themed lunch and learn or training seminar
Lunch and learns are a great way to impart knowledge, educate your employees, and initiate discussions. If your budget allows for it, consider reaching out to your local LGBTQIA+ community center to hire a trained professional to educate your company about the history, how to be inclusive, and language guidance. Topics can include:
- The correct use of pronouns
- What the letters stand for and what they mean
- The importance of gender-neutral language in the workplace
- Unconscious biases to watch out for
- Appropriate vs. inappropriate questions (this is especially important for transgender people, who are often asked very personal questions about their transition)
For management: Evaluate your discrimination & inclusion (D&I) company policies
While this should be an ongoing process, let this serve as your reminder to make the necessary changes to your D&I workplace policies.
- Do your HR and onboarding documents include gender-neutral language?
- Did you get input from a diverse group of employees, including (and especially) your LGBTQIA+ peers?
- Is there an existing ERG?
- Are your benefits packages inclusive?
These are all policies to assess, and no better time to make the appropriate changes like the present.
Support LGBTQIA+ arts and literature
If your office is still working remotely, consider a virtual viewing party or book club. Your company can choose a book written by an author from the LGBTQIA+ community, or a movie/TV show centered around LGBTQIA+ culture, or written/directed by someone in the community.
Allow time off for people to attend a Pride parade
Many cities celebrate Pride Month with a parade, and providing time off to attend is a powerful way to demonstrate to both existing employees and prospective applicants that your company is a true LGBTQIA+ ally. If your company budget allows for it, provide company-sponsored T-shirts with the symbolic rainbow flag to foster team spirit, and get a great photo op for your company’s social media channels and newsletter.
A screenshot of Zenefits’ Instagram page during Pride Month last year.
Host a Pride trivia event
Hosting a Pride trivia event is a great way to encourage team bonding, introduce a little friendly competition, and educate your employees. There are many resources online to help create the trivia questions, and you can also ask your employees for suggestions. Topics can cover:
- History and significant events
- Pop culture
- Famous figures in the LGBTQIA+ community
Create a shared playlist
Spotify has a feature that allows users to create a collaborative playlist, making this a pandemic-safe way for employees to share music by their favorite queer artists, and have a great new playlist to work to during their workday. Spotify already has plenty of pre-made playlists to get you started.
Important considerations when celebrating Pride Month in the workplace
It’s important that all activities are completely voluntary, and no one feels pressured to participate in any hosted events. There are many reasons why an employee may opt out of Pride Month activities.
While some employees may simply not be interested, sexuality and identity are deeply personal, and some people might prefer to keep their private life separate from their work life. It’s also key to avoid empty gestures. For example, simply posting a few social media pictures without implementing meaningful company policy changes would be disingenuous. In other words, your company’s policies should be consistent with any events hosted.
Celebrating Pride Month sends a powerful message to employees that your company is an ally, and accepts and embraces them for who they are, including their sexual orientation and how they identify. Even if working remotely, there are many ways to encourage team bonding, and demonstrate that your company is a safe and supportive environment for your LGBTQIA+ staff.