Employees are the building blocks of an organisation. It is they who work in close cooperation with the management to achieve the objectives and goals companies had set out to achieve. Over time, organisations have started giving importance to inclusiveness and building teams solely on the basis of merit and skills. To take this feeling forward, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate occasions like Pride Month.
June is regarded as Pride Month in memory of the Stonewall Uprising that took place in the June of 1969 when a bunch of LGBTQ protesters had to confront police brutality. Since then, Pride Month is all about acknowledging varied sexual preferences without judging people, supporting LGBTQ+ causes, and celebrating the “pride” of being different from the rest.
A workplace is a place where people grow. An important element of growth is to accept the spirit of inclusiveness and look at the world through a better lens. This is what Pride Month is all about. There is a common misconception about the occasion being limited to people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. That is certainly not the case. Even if you do not have a single employee within your organisation who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community, you can still celebrate Pride Month with full zeal and vigour.
Here are some of the most essential ways in which the Pride Month can be celebrated at a workplace:
The simplest yet most important aspect of celebrating Pride Month at a workplace is getting educated about the same. People often confuse being gay with being trans and being bisexual with being queer. Although one may not think of it as a big deal, it is an integral part of people’s identities. “It is important to have sessions (virtual or on-premise) that educate the workforce about the history of the LGBTQ+ struggle, the achievements of the community, the gender pronouns to be used, and much more. A lot of prejudice and the age-old “us vs them” mentality can be tackled simply by educating your workforce about the cause.” says Achintya Karmakar, Head - Human Resources at Flipspaces.
Having An LGBTQ+ Speaker On Board
No one can explain LGBTQ+ causes better than someone who belongs to the community. In India, a large section of society is still fed conventional and problematic stereotypes about people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. To bust the same, invite an LGBTQ+ speaker to address your workforce and share valuable insights about their journey as a community. Make them interact with your team members and have their questions answered in an open, fluid, and stimulating conversation. This would change the mindset of a handful of people in your team who still struggle with the stereotypes prevalent over decades.
Donating To LGBTQ+ Charities
An important way of celebrating Pride Month could be to donate something to the LGBTQ+ charities. India is still at a nascent stage of accepting the community across the board. This has motivated several activists and LGBTQ+ supporters to start institutions and charities to support the cause. Donating to these charities helps you bring about a positive change and make your own contribution to the cause.
Embracing The Colours Of The Rainbow!
The colours of the rainbow are extremely important to the LGBTQ+ community and are referred to as the colours of the pride flag. These colours represent the wide spectrum of genders and sexual preferences between being a straight male and a straight female.
Flaunt the rainbow colours as you celebrate Pride Month at your workplace. Just like you would decorate the office during Christmas or Diwali, put up posters, flags, stickers, and balloons representing the spirit of Pride Month and all that it stands for. Take to social media and let the world know that you have embraced the colours of the rainbow in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Having A Strong Discrimination And Diversity Policy In Place
Even if no one in your organization is prejudiced against the LGBTQ+ community or has garnered stereotypes about the same, having a robust discrimination and diversity policy in place is certainly a positive step towards change. During the pride month, make sure you draft a gender neutral policy if it doesn’t exist or modify an existing one to highlight the importance of inclusiveness in the workplace.
Kunal Sharma, Founder and CEO, Flipspaces, says “Make everyone within your organisation understand the importance of prioritising skills, competency, and merit over everything else. Right from recruiters to employees working in different departments, promoting inclusiveness would reflect positively on the overall work ethics and culture of the organisation.”
Supporting LGBTQ+ Businesses
Steering away from raising funds through charities, many members of the LGBTQ+ community and its supporters run businesses with the intention of becoming self-reliant. The profits made by these businesses often go to charities and are used for uplifting the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in the country.
As you celebrate Pride Month, make sure you identify these businesses, purchase their products, and avail yourselves of their services. Use your marketing expertise to actively promote these ventures and make more people aware of the same. For the month of June, consider these businesses as your valuable clients and give them the traction they deserve!
Attending Dedicated Community Events
Throughout the pride month, people in almost every major city of the country host community events that celebrate the pride in being who you are. Identify these events and take your team members along with you. Simply by attending these events, you would become a valuable instrument of change for the community that has always struggled to make its voice heard. Take the pride flags and wave them with, well, pride to show your support for the cause!
This Pride Month, do your best to instil the spirit of inclusiveness and fraternity within your workplace by supporting the LGBTQ+ cause and raising your voice in unison with the community. Make sure you contribute to building a workplace and work culture where boundaries blur and everyone accepts everyone for who they are!