Although Pride Month has officially come to an end, this is a great time to remind ourselves that promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a year-round commitment. While Pride Month acts as an empowering opportunity to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community, sustaining these initiatives and fostering a true sense of pride after Pride becomes the true challenge.
On average, there are 2,080 working hours in a year, meaning employees typically spend more time at work than they do with their friends and family. That being said, its equally important for employees to feel free to be their authentic selves at work as they do in their own home. Cultivating an environment that embraces diversity leads to more authentic relationships, higher levels of engagement, and a more successful organization. (Read more here) Here are three ways to continue the work and keep pride going all year round.
Continue celebrating diversity
Pride isn’t just about visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s also about celebrating different cultures, different backgrounds, and different experiences. There are tons of opportunities throughout the year to celebrate diversity including Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Disability Pride Month, just to name a few. You might be surprised to learn how diverse your employee population is, but you’ll only know if you open your doors to an environment of inclusion and celebration.
Demonstrate and encourage authenticity
Sustained DEI initiatives after Pride Month demonstrate a company’s commitment to authenticity rather than mere performative allyship. In making DEI an ongoing priority, you have the opportunity to establish a higher level of trust between you and your employees that can ultimately result in a profound sense of belonging. Encouraging your employees to come to work as their authentic selves, irrespective of their sexual orientation, race, religion, or gender identity will ultimately cultivate a much more productive and healthier workplace environment and culture. Read more about tests for DEI authenticity here.
Keep the learning going
Confucius once said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” Conversations regarding how someone identifies may be confusing, but that’s not an excuse not to try. After all, the goal is to learn how to show up for employees or colleagues who may feel marginalized as a result of how they identify, not to be right and most definitely not to be silent. A great way to immerse yourself and learn about other experiences is to host or join an employee resource group, which are typically voluntary groups that celebrate employees’ identities and values such as BEN (Black Employee Network), Juntos (Hispanic Employee Group) or an LGBTQIA+ focused group such as PFLAG. Doing so may take some vulnerability, but you’ll be surprised at how much you may learn from the people you spend 2,080 hours a year with. (Read more about the benefits of vulnerability here.)
By keeping the momentum going and finding ways to continue integrating pride after Pride into the fabric of your organization, companies can truly make a lasting impact and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future. Interested in promoting your DEI initiatives internally? Tribe can help.