Fi Pinkwashing Pride

How to Ensure Your LGBTQ+ Inclusion Efforts Don’t Become ‘Pinkwashing’

Published by
03rd June 2024

As Pride Month begins, so does the influx of rainbow logos, Pride-themed merchandise, and many a parade. However, for employers, it’s important to not fall into the trap of ‘pinkwashing’ – that is, the practice of superficially supporting LGBTQ+ causes for marketing purposes without substantial backing or action.

To help reduce the risk of pinkwashing, the 2024 London Pride parade have introduced a new stipulation for participating organizations – they must join the ‘Pride in the City’ programme, which includes year-round training on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.  

But on an internal level, there are ways for employers to utilize Pride as a springboard for LGBTQ+ inclusion initiatives without succumbing to pinkwashing. Here are some ways that employers can promote authentic and lasting LGBTQ+ inclusion this June:

1. Review Policies and Culture

    Before outwardly celebrating Pride Month, assess your company’s internal policies and culture. Organizations should ensure they have robust, inclusive policies that protect and support LGBTQ+ employees, such as non-discrimination clauses and support for transitioning employees. This is especially important considering that a recent survey from Randstad found that two in five LGBTQ+ workers have faced discrimination at work, with many considering quitting their jobs in pursuit of an inclusive culture. It is therefore imperative to create an environment where all employees feel safe and valued, and ensure these policies are communicated and enforced at every level of the company.

    2. Employee Resource Groups

    Establish or support Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) focused on LGBTQ+ issues. These groups provide a platform for LGBTQ+ employees to connect, share experiences, and influence company policies. ERGs can also help guide the company’s external LGBTQ+ initiatives, ensuring they are impactful and resonant with the community.

    3. Supporting LGBTQ+ Organizations

    This could involve donating a portion of profits from Pride-themed products to LGBTQ+ charities, sponsoring events, or partnering with local LGBTQ+ non-profits. By publicizing these contributions transparently, companies can successfully demonstrate their ongoing commitment beyond just the month of June.

    4. Year-Round Commitment

    True allyship extends beyond Pride Month. Those employers who participate in events, offer educational programs, and continually seek feedback from LGBTQ+ employees and customers on how to improve are the ones that are truly showcasing their commitment to inclusion and making it a fundamental part of their corporate ethos.

    5. Listening and Learning

    Lastly, employers should be continuously educating themselves and their teams about LGBTQ+ issues by engaging in dialogues with LGBTQ+ communities to understand their needs and challenges better. This allows for their knowledge and practices to be regularly updated and reflect the evolving landscape of LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.

    By taking these steps, companies can move beyond performative actions and demonstrate a genuine, lasting commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion and support, and mitigate the risk on pinkwashing entirely. If you would like to discuss how we can help with your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, please get in touch with us.

    chevron-downchevron-down-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram