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Born to be Proud

As Pride month draws to a close, we’ve been thinking about the ways a workplace can and should show up for the LGBTQ+ community throughout June and all year round.

Diversity, Inclusion & Representation

Kate Higham

8 Jul 2022

Despite anti-discrimination laws, and the cultural embrace of the Pride movement, sadly there are still places in the world where team members feel pressured to keep their true selves secret at work. At Born Social, we recognise the significance of Pride Month; it’s a time to celebrate, reflect and share. Each year, we work to understand the multifaceted issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in the hope of making Born Social’s team members feel comfortable, supported, and heard regardless of their sexual or gender identity.

We also recognise that it’s important to celebrate Pride in a genuine and meaningful way - we’re not talking about throwing up some rainbow flags in the office and keeping quiet for the rest of the month. The way you celebrate Pride at work should be seeking to:

  • Show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community

  • Make everyone feel welcomed, accepted, supported & included

  • Celebrate your team’s diversity

  • Encourage your team to feel proud of their identities

Here’s some of our tried & tested Pride practices of how to do just that:

🏳️‍🌈 Prepare: don’t wait for June to arrive before you start thinking about Pride. Prior to June, we hosted an internal session educating the rest of the team about how to talk about Pride in the work they do! These tips shared with the team were picked up by Creative Brief for a guide on the ‘Do’s & Dont’s’ for brands during Pride Month.

🏳️‍🌈 Educate: increase your team’s knowledge & raise awareness of LBGTQ+ history & issues through blogs and articles. We like to pull together an amazing team of volunteers to write an article each week in June covering topics such as:

We then wrap up the month with a Queez (that’s Queer Quiz to you & me), bringing all the learnings together in a fun yet educational way for the team!

🏳️‍🌈 Connect: create spaces for your LGBTQ+ team members to connect with each other and allies. We have a dedicated slack channel which is live & kicking with memes, music & ideas about how to support each other.

🏳️‍🌈 Amplify: find ways to amplify LGBTQ+ voices & stories. If you have an existing Book or Film Club choose LGBTQ+ authors, directors or stories to share the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. At Born, we have both and during Pride they read Young Mungo by Douglas Stewart, and watched Moonlight by Barry Jenkins.

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrate: music is such a central part of how we celebrate anything, so we loved the idea of a collaborative playlist for the whole company. Here’s Born Social’s Pride Playlist 2022 - 4 hours and 25 minute of crowdsourced pride anthems to vibe to!

🏳️‍🌈 Support: think about how your business can support Queer businesses and owners. We stock our office with Proud Beer and Saucy Bitch sauces. As well as encouraging our team to shop queer through our weekly newsletter, sharing ideas of how and where to shop!

But our biggest piece of advice is… don’t stop on the 30th June.

Make sure you’re consistently building an inclusive workplace throughout the year by:

  1. Making sure you have an inclusion, diversity & representation strategy in place

  2. Having ongoing ways to increase knowledge & grow empathy in your team (such as guest speakers & workshops)

  3. Building a supplier management policy that seeks to increase spend from minority-owned businesses

  4. Creating a culture calendar as a year-round way to celebrate all of the diversity in your team

So, as we enter July, we’d like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all the LGBTQ+ team members & allies who contributed so meaningfully and authentically to Pride at Born Social, we are so lucky to have you!