How your company can support LGBTQ+ at work during Pride Month 2024

Pride month is celebrated in June every year. The UK 2024 LGBTQ+ History Month theme is medicine – here’s how employers can support LGBTQ+ workers and go beyond the rainbow logos.

author

James Rowland

Commercial Director James leads Account Management, Sales and Marketing at Neathouse Partners.

Date

07 May 2024

Updated

11 July 2024
4 min read
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How your company can support LGBTQ+ at work during Pride Month 2024
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Pride Month, which is celebrated in June every year, is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s resilience, history and identity.

Pride has origins that date back to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969. During these riots, a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community took place in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. These riots marked a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and started a wave of activism that continues to inform the LGBTQ+ fight for equality around the world in the present day.

London Pride is one of the world’s largest Pride events, and should be on every company’s calendar so that employers are aware of how to support this historic event while creating a platform for advocacy, visibility and celebration.

Supporting Pride does however go far beyond rainbow logos, which we’ll explain in this article.

2024’s Pride Month Theme

The UK 2024 LGBTQ+ History Month theme is medicine, celebrating LGBTQ+ peoples’ contributions to healthcare, medical research and medicine in years prior and in the present day.

Pride this year will celebrate LGBTQ+ staff within the NHS and in other medical settings, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will also highlight the history of the LGBT+ community’s experience of receiving healthcare, which has been difficult in previous years, and many people still face health inequalities today.

As an employer, recognising and acknowledging this theme provides an opportunity for companies to deepen their commitment to fostering inclusive working environments where LGBTQ+ employees feel respected and safe.

 

Supporting LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace

As an employer, displaying genuine support for LGBTQ+ rights goes far beyond symbolic gestures and changing your logo to include a rainbow symbol. It requires a commitment to education on LGBTQ+ issues, advocacy and making sure to act, rather than just saying the right thing. Here are some meaningful steps that businesses can take to support their LGBTQ+ staff:

 

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Promoting awareness and investing in education

Employers should take time to teach others about the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. This is fundamental to fostering empathy and understanding, and creating an inclusive, diverse working environment.

Encourage employees to engage in educational activities such as reading books, watching films and listening to (or creating) podcasts using company resources and workers’ time, that really explores LGBTQ+ issues in depth. These actions can be promoted company-wide in group emails, with links to the podcasts and films, etc.

Hosting mandatory workshops or inviting guest speakers to share their experiences can also create meaningful discussions that show you care as an employer.

 

Volunteering at LGBTQ+ charities

By donating to organisations and charities that advocate for equality and provide support to the community, employers can show their commitment to LGBTQ+ rights.

Volunteering time is also important and shows that you care with your actions. This can aid LGBTQ+ individuals and make a tangible difference. By actively supporting LGBTQ+ causes, businesses can contribute to positive social change and demonstrate that they are inclusive, not just by declarations and company wording, but in their actions.


Create inclusive company policies

Reviewing and updating company policies to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees is essential. This could involve incorporating gender-neutral language in company documents and processes, or having anti-discrimination policies that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ employees from harassment and discrimination.

Creating an inclusive and supportive working environment with continued evaluation of how policies can be improved and updated with legislation, can help all workers to thrive in their roles.

 

Impactful Pride Month actions that companies can take

As an employer, there are some things you can do to show you truly care this Pride Month.

Educational workshops

As an employer, you could host workshops to educate and spread further awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, history and rights. Invite speakers from the LGBTQ+ community to share their experiences, struggles and insights into their life and career. This can help to eliminate prejudice and help people to understand others’ experiences, all while creating an inclusive workplace in which issues can be discussed openly and freely.

Partner with LGBTQ+ organisations

By partnering with local LGBTQ+ organisations, a company can give financial support, time, resources, or organise joint workshops or events in collaboration with charities to help them achieve their goals while supporting the community.

By aligning with reputable LGBTQ+ organisations, businesses can increase the impact they have while demonstrating their commitment to LGBTQ+ rights.


Review company policies

Just like employment law changes and evolves, so should your company policies. Review and update your company policies regularly to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees.

If you find they are not inclusive, seek assistance from one of our experienced professionals at Neathouse Partners. We can help you to create a diverse and inclusive work policy. 


What employers shouldn’t do this Pride Month (non-impactful actions)

Using Pride as a mere marketing tool

We’ve all seen too many superficial marketing campaigns consisting of changing branding or company colours to rainbow colours, and selling merchandise geared towards the Pride rainbow.

Pride-themed advertising has very little impact, and doesn’t demonstrate a meaningful commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion. It can come across as money-driven, and insincere, which isn’t how you want your company to be portrayed.

Focus instead on meaningful actions that demonstrate a genuine commitment and that actually make a difference to LGBTQ+ rights and equality.


Token events

Don’t host a Pride company event without addressing or highlighting systemic issues, or without providing some kind of support for LGBTQ+ workers.

Rather than just a celebration of Pride Month, employers should demonstrate they are taking actions and are committed to LGBTQ+ rights.

 

Failing to address LGBTQ+ issues

Failing to engage with LGBTQ+ employees or ignoring their input when planning Pride Month activities (or any other company-related issues) can be counterproductive at best and discriminatory at worst.

You should always involve LGBTQ+ employees in the planning process and listen to their perspectives to ensure that initiatives are meaningful and respectful. Prioritise employee input, take surveys and listen to opinions in open conversations to create a more inclusive workplace culture.


Create diverse and inclusive working policies for your company

Our team of professionals at Neathouse Partners can help you create working environments where LGBTQ+ employees feel valued, respected and empowered with diversity and equality policies that commit to meaningful actions and help to aid equality. 

Call 0333 041 1094 today or use our contact form.

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