Pride Month—Inclusive Workplace Ideas for Those Who Celebrate

“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.” — George Takei

June is recognized as Pride Month. A time to honor and highlight the history, challenges, and achievements of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community. More workplaces are incorporating Pride Month activities as part of their employee engagement strategy.

What is Pride Month?

The history of Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, NY, in 1969. The tragedy spawned a gay liberation movement and a call to action for lawmakers to grant equal rights to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Throughout the decades, widespread efforts have been made to end discriminatory workplace practices against the LGBTQIA+ community. A 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that terminating employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is sex discrimination. This violates federal law and is one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed that directly affects this group in the workplace.

Other countries have passed legislation through the years to protect this group. In 1996, the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to include sexual orientation as a protected status. The Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 is upheld in Australia.

Ways to Establish Allyship in the Workplace       

One way to promote inclusion, show support for the group, and build a safe company culture is to hold Pride Month events. Organize a lunch and learn or share information on local Pride events or learning opportunities. To make colleagues feel more at ease, research the Human Rights Campaign, which provides a glossary of the variety of terms the LGBTQIA+ community use to identify themselves that may be helpful to reference when establishing your allyship. You could even share personal pronouns in your email signature or social media profiles. Remember, some of your coworkers may not feel comfortable coming out at work, so it’s important to respect their wishes.

Wear or Decorate with Rainbow Swag

The rainbow flag is the widely used symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community. The first Pride flag was designed by artist Gilbert Baker, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, in 1978. Consider wearing colorful attire or decorating your desk with flag colors as it’s a great way to honor Pride Month.

Promote Pride Month Through Social Media

The digital space is a great way to show support for Pride Month. Consider updating your LinkedIn and other social media profiles with Pride-related frames or cover photos. Select a Pride-themed background for your virtual meetings while using Zoom or Teams.

Before you plan or participate in any festive or celebratory events at work, make sure to consult your leadership/HR department about the guidelines and processes for organizing these events.

Express’ DEIB Commitment

At Express, people are valued as our greatest asset. We honor the unique backgrounds, characteristics, and perspectives of our employees, franchisees, internal teams, clients, associates, and those in the communities where we live and work. Learn more about DEIB initiatives at Express on

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