Every June, LGBTQ2SIA+ communities come together to celebrate Pride Month. But why does celebrating Pride matter in the workplace? It’s more than just colorful decorations and festive treats. Here at MINES, we believe that authentically honoring Pride goes beyond words – it’s about taking concrete steps to foster inclusion and support for LGBTQ2SIA+ employees.

In today’s blog, we talk about the impact that talking about these issues openly can have in your organization and beyond.

Here are 5 reasons why celebrating and honoring Pride Month at work matters, and the benefits of doing so.

It demonstrates inclusivity with action, not just talk

The most important reason why celebrating Pride Month at work matters is that it builds workplace inclusivity. Most organizations claim to value diversity, inclusion, and belonging in their workplace — but it’s important to make sure that you’re demonstrating these values through tangible action.

When you celebrate Pride, you loudly and visibly uplift your LGBTQ+ employees. You go from just stating that you value inclusivity to actually showing it to the people who are affected by these issues.

It also sends the message to all employees, not only those in the LGBTQ+ community, that you are committed to building an inclusive workplace. This lets all employees know that homophobia, racism, and other types of discrimination are not tolerated and that every person will be valued regardless of their identity.

It builds safety

Building a psychologically safe workplace is a top concern for most workplace leaders. A psychologically safe workplace is one in which people from all backgrounds and identities feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and admitting mistakes without fear of negative consequences or humiliation.

In a psychologically safe environment, employees are more likely to feel free to be their complete and authentic selves. It’s about fostering a space where everyone feels valued and respected for their unique contributions, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other aspect of their identity.

By celebrating Pride Month at work, you can help employees in the LGBTQ2SIA+ community feel like they can be their full selves. They don’t need to separate or compartmentalize their gender or sexual identity from who they are at work — they will be celebrated and appreciated for every part of who they are.

It is an opportunity for education

For employees who are not members of the LGBTQ2SIA+ community, Pride Month can serve as an opportunity for education. Learning about the history of Pride, the important contributions of LGBTQ people, and the injustices that the community continues to face today may help lower hateful attitudes and discrimination. Research has shown that education can significantly lower homophobia.

Consider inviting LGBTQ2SIA+ speakers to deliver workshops for employees on different issues that affect the community. You can also host a book club, watch documentaries together, or incentivize employees to attend Pride and educational events outside of the workplace.

Some organizations invite LGBTQ+ employees to work on projects that help educate the rest of the staff. But remember, any participation in these types of projects should never be obligatory and should always be compensated fairly.

It normalizes acceptance

By celebrating Pride Month, you set a standard of acceptance for the rest of the year. It sets the expectation that you are a safe workplace that does not condone bullying and that your organization strives to be an ally to the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. Opening conversations about identity and diversity becomes normalized, and people feel safer to do so even after Pride Month is over.

Just as importantly as normalizing acceptance within your own organization, celebrating Pride Month can set a better standard for other organizations as well. When other organizations see you speaking or posting publicly about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ rights, they may feel more motivated to do the same. Your organization can be a leader in acceptance and inclusivity and set a good example.

It is a chance to connect with the local community

Lastly, celebrating Pride Month can be an opportunity to connect with your local LGBTQ+ community. Most metropolitan areas have community LGBTQ+ centers or activism groups. Many hold local Pride celebrations, including marches, parades, and other events.

Incentivize your employees to attend these events and connect to their local LGBTQ+ community. You might even consider inviting some local community members to come and speak with your team members. In this way, you can build stronger ties with the local community where your organization is located and form an allyship with LGBTQS2IA+ people in your area.

How to celebrate Pride Month in the workplace

There are so many ways to celebrate Pride Month in your workplace. Avoid “rainbow-washing”, or performative gestures that lack meaning and impact (such as putting up a poster or changing your profile picture). It’s important that the ways in which your organization chooses to commemorate Pride Month are reflective of your genuine commitment to the rights of this community.

Our 2023 Pride Month blog post is full of ideas on how your organization can celebrate Pride Month in a meaningful way.

Some ideas include:

  • Hosting an educational book club
  • Inviting educational speakers
  • Review your DEI policies
  • Attend Pride celebrations together
  • Donating or volunteering for the cause

Get LGBTQ+ affirmative counseling through your employee assistance program

MINES is dedicated to providing free and confidential LGBTQ+ affirmative during Pride Month and beyond. You can access your EAP counseling program 24/7 and speak with a licensed therapist at any time. In addition, we offer training options to help leaders become more inclusive.

Happy Pride Month from all of us here on the MINES team. Why does your organization celebrate Pride? Let us know in the comments.

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team