For the month of June, countries like the U.S., Canada, and more, annually celebrate Pride to support the LGBTQIA community.
Organizations and teams observe Pride by hosting activities, decorating the office (or Zoom background for those remote employees) with the Pride rainbow flag and paraphernalia. Not to mention, supporting LGBTQ charities, visiting historic sites important to the Pride movement, attending local Pride events.
Pride is an opportunity to host initiatives that will encourage your team to learn and reflect on transgender and gay rights today, helping your organization develop a healthier, stronger company culture and policy to combat workplace discrimination.
Fostering equity and inclusion with your team not only helps your employee experience, but creates a safer, supportive space where everyone can bring their most authentic self. And when people feel supported at the office, they’re more likely to stay and do their best work.
How do you engage employees for Pride month? Look no further. Read below for Pride activities you can do with your team.
What Are Some Ways for Companies to Be More Inclusive?
When you celebrate Pride month, remember that there is a fine line between being performative versus supporting the LGBTQIA community.
In the past, some companies celebrated Pride at face-value, using the rainbow flag— the symbol of the Gay Liberation movement— only as decoration for store fronts, a logo change, or a social media post. Companies did not address any policies or practices as an organization or with their teams.
Pride Month doesn’t mean one-time-a-year allyship to sell your organization to current and prospective employees or potential customers. It is a history month to celebrate gay pride, uplift the transgender and gay community, and to learn more about sexual orientation inequities today.
Pride is a celebration, but as a team, it’s important to make a conscious effort and learn how as an organization what we can do to the LGBTQ community.
See how your organization can create a space where your employees feel supported and seen no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation by:
- Reviewing your core values for inclusivity and equity
- Learning your people’s pronouns, preferred names, and pronunciations
- Modeling inclusive language from management and your people
- Welcoming employee feedback and actively sharing feedback and action taken
These are just a few ways to start, so continue growing and learning more about gay and transgender rights and how your organization can actively support LGBTQ+ team members.
What can companies do for Pride Month?
As an employee experience organization, Cooleaf hears this often. Many organizations want to celebrate Pride but also want to make sure they’re making a meaningful impact in some way.
Check out a few ideas below on activities you can do for Pride Month at work!
Host Trivia on the History of Pride
Why is the Pride flag represented by a rainbow? When was the Stonewall Uprising? What happened at the first Pride?
Bring your workplace community together and dive into Pride history. You can share resources, videos, articles, while creating a safe space to openly learn together before history and culture for a trivia game.
History Month Resources to Celebrate Pride
- LGBTQ Rights Milestones Fast Facts from CNN
- LGBTQ History from the National Museum of American History
- How Much LGBTQ History is Taught in Schools from TIME Magazine
- How Celebrities Played a Key Role in Information during the AIDS crisis from TIME Magazine
- Reads, Queer Writer Interviews, & Pride History NYPL
Organizations like American Auto Shield used the Cooleaf platform to encourage their employees to learn the history of Pride and highlighted works from LGBTQIA filmmakers, artists, authors, and musicians all month-long!
Share the resources or pop in interesting facts in your recurring newsletters or even Slack channels.
Then host end the month with Pride Month trivia. Take the resources you shared to format questions and host a trivia game either on Zoom or in-person with teams. You can also purchase prizes from LGBTQIA-owned businesses or with systems like Cooleaf, you can award points!
Celebrate a healthy and happy Pride month with our Employee Wellbeing checklist!
Why this matters: As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it,” and many adults never learned about the LGBTQIA movement, the HIV/AIDS crisis, or the Stonewall riots.
Learning together is not only great team-building, but encourages critical thinking and communication skills to create a more equitable workplace. It’s also perfect for virtual and in-person employee engagement.
Volunteer for Local Nonprofits or Pride Events in Your Area
National nonprofits like Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, or the Trevor Project host local events and opportunities for volunteers, especially for Pride Celebrations.
You can research needs in your area or reach out to your LGBTQIA employee resource group (ERG) to partner with an organization for the year. You can make June stand out and host a fundraiser with items from queer-owned businesses or make a volunteer day for the team.
For organizations liked Shipt who have some remote teams as well as an in-person hub, they connected their team and celebrated Pride by hosting a day-off for volunteering. They suggested nonprofits local to their employees’ main cities, and asked teammates to post photos in Cooleaf, wearing their Shipt t-shirts. It was a great way to bring people together while also doing good.
Why this matters: Volunteer work boosts employee morale and helps team members learn more about LGBTQIA inequalities that affect families, health needs, youth communities, and more. Plus, looking into local non-profits will help your organization make a positive impact as you support the queer community together.
Attend Virtual events or In-Person Pride Events
You’ll see cities and businesses host Pride events to celebrate throughout the month of June. Everything from Zoom or in-person talks, marathons or 5Ks, film screenings, drag shows or brunches, and city-sponsored Pride parades and marches can be found.
Your team can attend virtually or in-person to lend support, learn, or promote the business or experience.
Remember, Pride is a history month. Share this documentary on the First Pride from the Library of Congress to show its importance and why many continue to celebrate and support, so that your crew knows why we celebrate.
You can also make a meaningful impact by creating a fundraising component. As an idea, work with local queer artists to develop Pride swag for employees. You can offer it for sale too where all proceeds go to a non-profit focused on the LGBTQIA community.
Local or virtual events and Pride parades are some activities you can join for Pride with your company.
Why this matters: Pride is a celebration, and joining in local events introduces your team to new experiences, businesses, speakers, education, art, and more! Celebrating Pride with your team is a way to promote awareness within the company and help spread more understanding of the issues the LGBTQIA community faces today.
Looking for more ways to celebrate and connect with your team? Our Manager's Handbook is here to help!
Support LGBTQIA-Owned Businesses to Participate in Pride Month
Encourage your people to support allies and queer-owned businesses with positive reviews and conscious purchases.
Google maps makes it easy by including a rainbow flag to denote queer-owned, local businesses you can support. And don’t forget to ask employees for suggestions! The Cooleaf team itself, hosts a year-long challenge to encourage employees to offer word-of-mouth recommendations for favorite local, minority-owned spots in their cities.
Have your organization take part too. Support those businesses and restaurants for those recurring team lunches or large meetings in the office. For remote teams, surprise them with treat boxes loaded with goods from LGBTQIA-owned brands, like Equator Coffees or sweets from Wunderkeks.
Some organizations also make a company-wide initiative in terms of setting a percentage goal of supply-chain or contract partners they work with that are minority or LGBTQIA owned. The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and My Rainbow Pages are great resources for research and certification information.
Why is this important: Conscious consumerism empowers marginalized groups and will empower the queer community in commerce and businesses in your city. Encouraging employees to support these brands shows individuals how they can take it on too, and it helps them find some wonderful businesses to support.
Host a Book Club for Pride Month at Work
Taking a page from First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy who said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all,” host a book club centering on the works from queer writers. You can either suggest a list or have employees vote, and then host a book club for lunch or happy hour.
Book clubs are a great way to get the conversation started and help readers learn more about the LGBTQIA experience from a queer writer or narrator. Reading is also a great way to speak to lived experiences we (as readers) might not have had.
LGBTQ Reading Lists for Pride Month at Work
- Penguin’s Ultimate LGBTQ+ Pride Book List
- Queer Reads from Bookshop.org
- The best LGBTQIA+ books: your essential reading list
You can also partner with a local bookstore to purchase the books for your team. Or see if your local bookstore hosts a Drag Queen Story hour too and make an event to bring the family.
Why is this important: You might not notice but there tends to be an unconscious bias with your media consumption, and often the best seller reads aren’t from marginalized voices. Encouraging people to consciously support a a queer author supports the writer and helps the reader broaden their perspective. You can also support an LGBTQ bookstore by ordering copies for your team in advance.
Evaluate Your Company Discrimination and Diversity Policy
The best way to celebrate Pride is to actively take meaningful actions to ensure that your office (whether it’s a physical space or a Slack channel) is a safe space for every person on your team.
Eliminating workplace discrimination starts at the policy level, so have your executive team review your discrimination and diversity policy. Work with your ERGs to set goals, like scheduling training and talks, updating procedures for when someone experiences discrimination, and look at your hiring process.
Use anonymous sentiment surveys to gather honest feedback from your employees. And actively seek voices or educators who can help your management or executive level learn more about what they can do too.
Why is this important: When you’re unable to bring your whole self to work, are you able to work your best? According to Linkedin nearly a quarter of surveyed professionals are not open about their identity at work with 26% of workers worried that it would cause coworkers to treat them differently. Your organization has the power to create a space where your people can feel their best and bring their best.
Have Fun Hosting Team Building Activities for Pride!
Have a fun Pride month, but make sure you’re not only performing celebrations but creating a positive, meaningful impact as you engage your team. Learning more about the inequities many within the gay, bisexual and transgender community experience and how your organization can create a safe, supportive space for everyone can be the best way to way to engage your employees for Pride.