In honor of Pride Month, Range is sharing a few posts on building inclusion at work. Last week we wrote about building an inclusive work environment by holding space. We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts. You can find us on Twitter at @RangeLabs.
With a little more than two weeks left until San Francisco’s Pride (June 29-30), I’m reminded of what was on my mind this time two years ago. I was at another startup then, one quite a bit larger than Range is now. A coworker I regularly grabbed a coffee with had approached me asking me to help him plan something to help our company celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride.
My colleague didn’t come to me with a plan, and neither of us had any idea of what we’d be able to pull off given the short window of time we had. What we cared about most was celebrating Pride, however we could, and we wanted to celebrate with the people with whom we spent almost every day.
There’s more than one to celebrate any occasion, and Pride is certainly no exception. So, if you’re looking for meaningful ways to help your company celebrate this month, here are a handful you can definitely pull together in the next couple of weeks.
6 ways to celebrate Pride Month at work
1. Volunteer for and support LGBTQ causes
You probably already know about the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD, but did you know there are many smaller, local LGBTQ community centers and foundations across the country that are always looking for support? (Use this locator to find centers near you.)
While these often underfunded centers will always appreciate a donation, supporting them can also mean volunteering your time and skills. Lending your support to special programs and events can make a world of difference to the lives of LGBTQ youth and homeless who depend on these centers. And if you or your coworkers have web development, design, writing, or marketing skills, your help could directly contribute to the growth of a center.
2. Create your own Pride swag
More stickers and buttons. More socks. More shirts. More fanny packs. What we wear can say a lot about who we are, the type of person we might be. And whatever the items, your company’s Pride swag only helps to increase awareness and further advance the LGBTQ cause.
When my colleague and I got the all clear to begin planning our company’s Pride event, we were overwhelmed by the amount of support we received from others in our company. Our coworkers didn’t just ask “Where can we help?” they actually came to us with ideas. One of those ideas was stickers, and they were designed and ordered in a matter of two days.
Stickers. It might not sound like much, but as a tech company that very regularly sent many of its employees to domestic and international events—not to mention all of the time we spent in front of customers—those stickers said a lot. Our employees, everyone from our recruiters to our CTO, let everyone they encountered know we were a company that supported the LGBTQ community and that we valued inclusivity. 🌈
3. Host Pride-focused lunch and learns
Part of celebrating Pride Month is learning about LGBTQ history and the leaders and activists who have paved the way for LGBTQ rights. One great way to do this is to host lunch and learns to share that history.
You don’t have to be a member of the LGBTQ community to research a topic or an activist and share what you’ve learned with your colleagues. While different from presenting your findings on a new way to approach goal setting and OKRs—this will require a bit more care—everyone has the ability to research, summarize, and present. What’s more, if you aren’t a member of the LGBTQ community, this is a great way to demonstrate that you are an ally. And if you can have lunch brought in for those who attend, all the better.
Wondering who or what to present to your company? Here are a few suggestions:
- Marsha P. Johnson
- Sylvia Rivera
- Barbara Gittings
- Edith Windsor
- Harvey Milk
- The Stonewall riots
- Christopher Street Liberation Day
- The red ribbon
4. Plan a company event or Pride celebration
Has your company ever hosted a happy hour, Meetup, or celebration for a big milestone? If so, you’ll find putting together a Pride celebration to be quite similar. (The decorations will probably just be a bit more colorful.) In fact, with a modest budget and enough lead time, you’ll likely be able to find a party planning company that can help you very quickly pull everything together.
After my colleague and I approached our people operations team, they spoke to our executives, secured budget, and then sat down with us to see what we had in mind. They took our ideas and expanded them, reaching out to a party planning company we’d hired for events in the past. Less than two weeks later our company had hosted its first Pride celebration. We couldn’t believe the turnout, and it went down as one of the best events our company ever hosted.
5. Attend Pride events hosted by another company or organization
Maybe you can’t find the time or resources to plan your company’s own Pride event. That’s okay. You won’t be hard pressed to find other events in your city that you and your company can join.
Across the country, there are city-wide events taking place throughout much of this month to celebrate love and the diversity of identity within the LGBTQ community. You’ll find talks with activists and public figures, workshops and seminars, happy hours and parties, smaller parades and marches, and quite a bit more. You might even have a friend at a company that is hosting their own Pride celebration, and there’s a good chance guests are welcome.
6. Rally your coworkers and attend your local Pride parade
We’ve come a long way since Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride march in US history. Today, nearly 50 years later, Pride marches and events take place throughout the country and around the world, bringing together hundreds of thousands of spectators and participants, including large corporations. 👭👬👫
Showing up and cheering from the sidelines is all you have to do to be a part of Pride. So if you’re wondering what’s happening for Pride in your city, here’s a helpful calendar of parade and events taking place around the world this year.
There’s still plenty of time to plan for Pride
We might already be halfway through Pride Month, but there’s still so much time for your company to find ways to celebrate.
As you begin to think about what you might do, remember to have fun but don’t forget what LGBTQ Pride is about: appreciating community and diversity, remembering the progress that has been made, and celebrating love in all its forms.
Happy Pride Month! 🏳️🌈