Throughout June we have seen corporate companies opt for a rainbow logo in support of LGBTQIA+ Pride month. Opting for a rainbow company logo can be an extremely easy way to signal how accepting a company is to different sexual orientations and gender identities.
Putting a rainbow flag on something in the month of June is a safe bet. However, the corporate rainbow-wash that we’re seeing across LinkedIn and other marketing campaigns now begs the question, are companies benefitting from the rainbow reputationally in a broad sense, and also, is this the limit of what they’re doing for the LGBTQIA+ community.
How should companies show what they stand for in an authentic, meaningful, and accountable way? There is a myriad of issues that affect LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace. LGBTQIA+ people are not a monolith and the key to being an inclusive workplace stems from creating safe, open, and accepting environments for individuals to be themselves and voice their views. This should involve a multifaceted approach, should be ever-evolving and not just a priority during Pride month but all day, every day.
As someone who took multiple modules on Gender, Sex and Identity at university, I consider myself as being somewhat well-versed in LGBTQIA+ discourse. However, I recently realised that as a recruitment consultant, I was forgetting to ask a crucial question to all of my candidates. I wasn’t asking my candidates what their preferred pronouns were when meeting them. This is such a simple question to ask someone that validates a person’s identity and promotes diversity and inclusion.
My point is that although there are more rainbows across LinkedIn than ever before, there is still so much change that needs to happen to create more inclusive workplaces. From something as simple as asking someone’s preferred pronouns to providing LGBTQIA+ training, education on LGBTQIA+ history, incorporating gender-neutral language, setting up Pride networks, supporting LGBTQIA+ legislation, donating to charities and organisations that uplift vulnerable LGBTQIA+ communities, and divesting from anti-trans/ anti-gay legislation. It’s clear that we have a long way to go.
A lot of people have concerns about performative allyship. I’m not saying that rainbow logos are good or bad, (we at Goodman Masson also change our logo during Pride month) but it is imperative that they are underpinned by action that is taking place year-round and not just for the month of June.
Here at Goodman Masson, we have an LGBTQIA+ network whose mission is to celebrate and embrace the LGBTQIA+ community whilst providing a support network for LGBTQIA+ employees.
The network aims to take on accountability for progressive LGBTQIA+ focused workplace change.
Some of our achievements to date include:
- Signing the Trans in the City Charter
- Hosting Trans Awareness Week-Raising the importance of pronouns on email signatures and LinkedIn
- Partnering with the Outside Project
- Introducing the Transitioning at Workplace -Paternity Scheme changed to support non-cis/hetero
I’d be really interested in hearing your views and if you feel there are other ways you could make your company a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
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