June is Pride Month, which means we’re taking extra steps to honor and celebrate those who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. At work, at home, and in the world, rainbow flags are rising, people everywhere are prepping for Pride Parades, and we’re taking time to educate ourselves about the history of this special community while appreciating diversity in all of our lives.
But, for companies looking to celebrate Pride in 2021, simply changing your company’s logo to rainbow colors or putting up LGBTQ+-Friendly slogans in your shop windows isn’t cutting it. We want to see real change, real conversation, and real support. Not just rainbow flags.
So, to honor those of the LGBTQ+ community, we opened up the conversation in our HerMoney Facebook group this week and asked what your companies are doing to support LGBTQ+ members at the office. What’s really making an impact, and what can companies do better? (Because we’re all always learning!)
One big change among companies has been adding pronouns in company-wide email signatures, and on Zoom names. As changing pronouns has become more public and widely accepted, even cisgendered women are including their pronouns in an effort to both communicate how they would like to be identified and to welcome all coworkers no matter which pronouns they use.
This is a “great and easy way to normalize pronouns and affirming and respecting people’s gender identity. I’ve been told by my LGBTQ+ colleagues in our office that it makes them feel much more comfortable and welcomed,” says Kyla L.
Sarah B. works as a manager of new hires, and when she displayed her pronouns, she watched as her boss, and other managers followed suit. She was so glad to see how she was positively influencing the company.
As an ally who works with students at a university, Alison S. also added her pronouns to her email signature and on her Zoom name. “I like that [my students] know that my office is a place where they can be themselves and identify how they want,” she says.
As another identifier, Sarah B., who is currently hiring for three positions on her team, always includes her rainbow heart “love is love” lapel pin in her outfit on days of Zoom interviews. “ I want potential candidates to know I’m an open and willing ally,” she says.
For Rebecca J.’s workplace, pride is a year-round event. “My employer has a Pride ERG,” she writes, making resources available to LGBTQ+ employees all of the time — not just in June. Plus, for the past three years, her company has been in the local Pride parade. “Some folks are out and proud at work, but I don’t know if everyone is,” she adds.
Recently, one of Jennifer P.’s coworkers transitioned. When she was ready, her company had an introduction to her new name and look. The rest of the office reacted super positively, thanking the woman for being so brave and feeling comfortable enough to share her news.
These are just a few of the many ways the world is changing positively and making active efforts to more effectively support LGBTQ+ people in the workplace and otherwise. Even if your company has not implemented any concrete initiatives (and if they haven’t, maybe talk to HR about doing so!), you can show your allyship by being kind, communicative, supportive, and by continuing to educate yourself on the history and facts of being LGBTQ+. Happy Pride!
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