Pride 2021: 5 Ways to Celebrate in the Workplace
What is Pride?
June is Pride Month in several countries around the world, including the United States. This month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which lasted 6 days in Manhattan in June 1969 as police clashed with LGBTQ+ protesters. Pride celebrations attract millions of participants each year as LGBTQ+ communities and allies honor the queer identity through parades, workshops, parties, picnics, lectures, concerts, and more. Pride is a celebration of identity and a call for tolerance and acceptance, as well as an acknowledgment of the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout history.
Why should organizations celebrate Pride?
Although Pride is a major occasion in the LGBTQ+ community, it is not solely a queer holiday. Pride is about togetherness, tolerance, and acceptance- things every workplace should prioritize. For employees to perform at their best, they need to be able to show up to work as their true, whole selves. Organizations that want to create an accepting, inclusive culture must include everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Pride Month is a great time to acknowledge the achievements of these allies and highlight the diverse voices in your workplace.
5 Ways to Celebrate
As many organizations are still working remotely or in a hybrid, Pride 2021 may have to be celebrated virtually or in smaller in-person settings. In any case, below are a few ideas for celebrating in your workplace:
1. Host training sessions or educational workshops on inclusion
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion starts with self-awareness and education and is then reinforced with communications and accountability. One way to begin the educational process is to bring in an expert to host training programs. These sessions ensure that employees understand the correct terms to use, how to manage pronouns, and what language and behaviors are unacceptable. They can also provide employees the opportunity to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ community and why this month is important.
2. Provide donation or volunteering opportunities
Another way to celebrate is to provide employees the opportunity to be hands-on in their local communities. This can be done through donation-matching programs or providing paid time off for employees to volunteer as part of their benefits packages. Giving employees time to make a difference can reaffirm your commitment to their passions and show you truly care about the cause, not just while employees are on the clock.
3. Have a virtual watch party or book club
With COVID-19 still present, a virtual watch party is a great way for employees to have fun while staying safe at home. This can be done through a few ways: hosting a streaming session where all employees watch the film together or have them watch the film beforehand and gather to discuss. Similarly, this could be done with a book and have employees share their reactions and takeaways after everyone finishes. Either way, this is a great chance for employees to learn something new in a more relaxed environment.
4. Host a (virtual) happy hour
As we’ve been living in the pandemic for over a year now, many organizations have had a virtual happy hour at some point. To make it more Pride-themed, attendees could play Bingo, trivia games like Kahoot!, or invite guest speakers to share their experiences. If your organization is comfortable doing so, you could host this in person as well.
5. Create or modify anti-harassment policies
Pride Month may only be one month of the year, but employees need protection year-round. To reduce the impact of implicit bias on your hiring process, evaluate the success of your diversity initiative and improve where necessary. Additionally, ensuring your anti-harassment policy includes language around LGBTQ+ discrimination is a great step towards a more inclusive workspace and and can help employees from marginalized groups and underrepresented communities feel safer at work. Make sure all employees are aware of these policies and handle any conflicts as quickly as possible.
While Pride Month is about togetherness and inclusion, it is important to respect all team members’ feelings and beliefs. Some employees may choose to opt-out of celebrations, and that’s okay. Instead of forcing employees to attend events they aren’t comfortable with, continue to encourage all employees to treat each other with respect and ensure they follow any mandatory guidelines.
For more resources on celebrating diversity in your organization, year-round, please fill out the form below to connect with our experts: