We support Pride Month and continue to strive to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community through minimising bias within our campaigns and extending the reach of our searches.
Posted 1st June 2023
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is a month-long celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their achievements. Since the first pride parade in 1970, the month has grown to include more of the LGBTQ+ community and continues to evolve as our understanding of sexual orientation and identity grow.
Pride Month is also an important opportunity to highlight the continued inequality for LGBTQ+ people across the globe and get involved in making a difference, whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or are an ally
When is Pride Month?
Pride Month takes place in June in honour of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, New York, USA. Sometimes this event is referred to as the Stonewall Riots.
The Stonewall Uprising began as a reaction to a homophobic, violent raid by police on the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village, New York City. At the time homosexuality was classified as a “mental disorder” and illegal, therefore there were very few safe LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces, even gay clubs were not safe as often they were run by organised crime groups and under constant police raids. The Stonewall Inn raid was the event that triggered a series of protests by the gay community where the demands were simple; the gay community wanted the right to live openly regardless of their sexual orientation and without fear of being arrested.
Why is there a Pride Month?
Pride Month exists because historically LGBTQ+ people, their lives, experiences, achievements and successes have been hidden away and erased. Pride began as protest for equality and a demand to live without fear, however these demands have not been fully realised and many LGBTQ+ people are still isolated and subject to daily prejudice.
Pride Month provides an opportunity for…
Pride parades are an opportunity to show up in great numbers to celebrate and honour those who came before and to acknowledge the suffering of LGBTQ+ siblings still ongoing around the world. The whole month also gives the LGBTQ+ community a chance to gather and see that they have common ground and can unite under one banner.
So much of LGBTQ+ history has been lost and erased for many reasons. Two of the most well recognised examples are the HIV/AIDS epidemic and LGBTQ+ hate crimes. It’s estimated that 40.1 million people have died from HIV/AIDS (World Health Organization, 2021). This epidemic was once known as the “gay plague” and ravaged the gay community throughout the 80s when there was little understood about it and very little treatment. Additionally, Stonewall reports that one in five LGBTQ+ people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. During Pride Month memorials are held for those in the community who have been lost to HIV/AIDS and hate crimes.
Pride Month is an opportunity to be active and take part. There has been progress but there is still work to be done; there are countries that still have laws criminalizing homosexuality (some even have death penalties) and in every country there are inequalities between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual cisgender individuals when accessing healthcare, education, employment, housing and social services. For organisations it is an opportunity to show support for LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers.
How to celebrate Pride Month in the workplace;
- Education and training: Diversity and inclusion should already be woven throughout all training and explicitly include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression awareness. The training should include your policies, appropriate behaviours and then go beyond that. Utilising Pride Month to run a refresher programme or introduce new LGBTQ+ specific training will help create a more inclusive environment and educate your colleagues, especially those leading teams. Investing in appropriate resources is incredibly important as it shouldn’t be up to LGBTQ+ (and other minority) employees to educate others.
- Raise awareness and increase visibility: If you have a LGBTQ+ Employee Network, this is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate its existence and members. Pride Month is an excellent opportunity to run events that give your LGBTQ+ employers and their allies a chance to share their personal stories if they are willing. If you don’t have a LGBTQ+ Employee Network, consider using Pride Month to start one.
- Get involved by supporting an LGBTQ+ organisation: LGBTQ+ services are very often underfunded so Pride Month is a good time to introduce a new partnership or affiliation with an LGBTQ+ organisation and run a fundraising campaign for them. It also helps create a sense of community which is at the core of Pride Month.
- Attend a local Pride Month event and show your pride: LGBTQ+ inclusion shouldn’t only be for one day or month, however, Pride Month is an excellent occasion to partake in what I call “silent signalling” by introducing rainbow lanyards, pronouns on name badges, including LGBTQ+ literature in any reading corners or linking to well-known LGBTQ+ websites on your organisation’s intranet. You may even want to consider attending a local Pride Month event.
- Take action: Commit to making your workplace a more inclusive, safe space. Use this month and increased attention on LGBTQ+ resistance and liberation to review your policies and ensure your organisation has a dedicated, robust Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policy that provides clear guidelines on how all staff – including your LGBTQ+ colleagues – are protected. Are your policies inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals? Each policy needs to consider sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and include the consequences for any instances of bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
Posted by Sarah Walker
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Emma Wilkins of Dixon Walter, led the recruitment campaign for this key appointment. It follows successful academic leadership appointments elsewhere for the University. Emma has taken much time to understand the institution and provide key advice on how to market the opportunities to ensure the best talent is found.
Hands up who’s ready for half term! Phew what a busy start to the academic year it’s been. At Dixon Walter, we’ve been busy working on some fantastic appointments with existing clients and new. Thank you to all those who continue to support us.
The theme this year, Take Action Make Impact, centres around the idea that we are all trying to reach effective, positive and sustainable impact through inclusion action for all those we work with and for ourselves. That is the ultimate aim of inclusion and diversity and why it’s so important to continue striving for truly inclusive workplaces – to create equity and equality impact for all.