1 in 5 LGBT+ employees hiding their identities from coworkers
More than a third of LGBT+ employees (35%) feel uncomfortable at work, with 1 in 5 hiding their identities from coworkers in fear of discrimination, according to independent research from Maximillion. These statistics have identified areas where employers, management and businesses as a whole can improve their policies related to equality.
Maximillion, who are experts in event management for corporations, are suggesting that businesses should seriously consider organising a Pride-themed work event to support their LGBT+ employees and coworkers. They have provided the following comment as well as tips & advice for those considering organising an inclusive event in time for Pride month in June.
Maximilion had this to say: “The fact that over a third of LGBT+ employees have hidden their identity from their work in fear of being discriminated against highlights a serious gap in the promotion of equality in the workplace. Not only this, but 12% of LGBT+ people would not feel comfortable reporting discriminatory behaviour. Employers should be working to create a more inclusive workplace for LGBT+ people as a result. Organising an event around Pride and LGBT+ equality is a step in the right direction to show that your business cares about its employees and wants to see them thrive in a workplace that cares about their wellbeing.”
Top Tips for Creating an Inclusive Pride Work Event!
1 – Establish an Inclusive Planning Committee
It is important to form an inclusive planning committee to ensure different perspectives are taken into account throughout the entire process. A diverse committee that includes employees from the LGBT+ community along with straight allies brings a variety of perspectives together, fosters collaboration and demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity. Seek input on a frequent basis to refine and improve the event planning process and make sure it is tailored to LGBT+ employees.
- Use a work group chat, company-wide email or online workplace hub to make employees aware of the event and provide an open invite for committee volunteers
- Clearly communicate the objectives and goals of the committee to potential members: promoting inclusivity, celebrating diversity, and fostering a supportive workplace
- Offer resources and training materials to committee members to enhance their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and inclusion
2 – Choose a Theme
Choosing a theme for your Pride event helps to establish the tone and message of the occasion. Consider themes that symbolise unity and celebrate diverse LGBT+ identities in your business. The theming should be consistent throughout the entire event to create a cohesive experience, including activities, keynote speakers, workshops and panels. Themes that event organisers to consider include:
- Building Bridges: The theme can emphasise the importance of bridging differences and fostering unity among employees
- United in Diversity: The theme can celebrate the unique identities and experiences within the LGBT+ community and promote a diverse spectrum of voices
- Embracing Authenticity: This theme can promote a supportive workplace by encouraging employees to bring their authentic selves to work
3 – Plan Engaging Activities
Whether you are organising a casual party or a more formal occasion, engaging activities and decorations for your Pride work event are fundamental for creating a memorable and impactful experience. These could include:
- Keynote speakers: Invite notable LGBT+ voices to offer their personal experiences, ideas, and skills as keynote speakers. Their stories and points can inspire audiences and help them have a better awareness of LGBT+ issues
- Panel discussions: Organise panel discussions on significant topics related to LGBT+ rights, workplace inclusion and diversity. Panellists should provide unique insights and engage in meaningful discourse with guests
- Workplace: Hold workshops to raise LGBT+ awareness, provide sensitivity training, develop inclusive teams and foster an inclusive workplace
- Entertainment: Organise performances by LGBT+ artists to highlight queer talent and promote diversity. This might include live music performances and drag shows that highlight the creativity and vibrancy of the LGBT+ community
- Activities: Include activities that promote engagement and teamwork. Set up photo booths with Pride-themed props and accessories, and organise games or icebreakers that encourage inclusion, cooperation and understanding
4 – Decorating & Branding
By decorating the venue with Pride-specific décor, adding corporate branding, and utilising inclusive language and images, you can create a setting that visibly promotes your commitment to LGBTQ+ equality. This contributes to an inclusive and supportive atmosphere that resonates with the event’s goals and options to consider are:
- Pride-themed decorations: Utilise Pride-themed decorations like LGBT+ flags, balloons, and banners. Colours from the Pride flag should be used throughout the room, including table centrepieces, wall hangings, and entrance decorations. Make sure to use the updated Pride flag to represent trans, non-binary and people of colour.
- Company branding: Make sure your company branding is visible and incorporated into the event decor, to demonstrate the business’s support for the event. Signage, banners, and promotional items should all have your company logo. To create a unified and integrated image, combine your brand colours with the Pride flag colours.
- Inclusive language & imagery: If providing informational pamphlets, posters and other resources, opt to use gender-inclusive terms that acknowledge and respect diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. Use imagery that represents the diversity within the LGBT+ community, showcasing various backgrounds and experiences.
- Decor placement: Ensure that key areas, such as the entrance, stage, and sitting areas, have Pride-themed decoration and branding materials prominently displayed. This results in a visually appealing and coherent setting that immerses guests in the spirit of the Pride celebration.
5 – Engage the Community
Involving LGBT organisations or charities in your Pride celebration provides authenticity and impact to your Pride event. Collaborate with them on panel discussions and keynote speeches and use their experiences to better address LGBT+ inclusivity in the workplace and society in general. Provide space for educational booths so guests can learn more about their work and how to assist the LGBT community as a whole. Include fundraising initiatives to support their causes, as well as volunteer opportunities for attendees.
6 – Post-Event Follow-Up
Collect feedback from guests using surveys and polls to discover areas for improvement and acquire insights for future events. Use the input to make changes, improve event preparation, and elevate future events. Communicate the results to attendees, expressing gratitude for their participation and emphasising the importance of their contributions.