When focusing on D&I in the workplace, it’s important that the inclusion part of the equation isn’t pushed aside. Companies must create inclusive environments for their employees in order to ensure they’re happy, feel safe, and are able to work to the best of their abilities. One way they can do so is by recognizing and celebrating occasions that matter to their employees, like Juneteenth and Pride Month.
Of course, it’s critical that companies have policies in place to support their LBGTQ+ employees all year round. However, by explicitly acknowledging Pride Month, companies can show their employees that it’s important to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, helping to foster an inclusive environment. When coupled with a welcoming culture, inclusive benefits, and consistent action, Pride celebrations can be a great way to support LGBTQ+ employees and the community as a whole.
In 2021, companies once again got creative to celebrate Pride. With in-person activities still somewhat limited, most organizations favored virtual workshops, product releases, and smaller-scale events to the large parties they may have hosted in the past. Here are some interesting ways companies celebrated Pride in 2021.
Kellogg’s, the iconic breakfast cereal company, celebrated Pride with a unique campaign. Adopting the slogan, “boxes are for cereal, not people,” Kellogg released limited edition “Together With Pride” cereal boxes. Fans were encouraged to join the campaign by engaging with the #BoxesAreForCerealChallenge on TikTok and by purchasing the special cereal boxes. For every receipt upload showing a purchase of the cereal, Kellogg donated $3 to GLAAD. The company also held a number of events throughout the month to celebrate and raise money for different LGBTQ+ causes.
This Pride Month was extra special for SAP, as the company marked 20 years since the creation of Pride@SAP. Pride@SAP is a global employee network with more than 8,000 members that represents members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. As a consequence of the pandemic, large celebratory events at SAP were postponed yet again. Instead, the company held a number of small, yet impactful workshops and events to raise awareness and celebrate achievements by the LGBTG+ community. Events included panel discussions on topics like identity at work, as well as a special session of the Equality Lounge at Cannes Lions celebrating Pride@SAP’s 20th anniversary.
Nordstrom celebrated Pride Month with a significant donation to support the transgender community. The company kicked off the month by giving a grant to the Trans Lifeline x FOLX Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Care Fund to help provide access to hormone care to those in need. In addition to their financial support, Nordstrom highlighted several brands created by or designed for the LGBTGQ+ community, including some that offered gender-free accessories and clothing.
iRobot spent Pride Month working to further the organization’s commitment to allyship and an inclusive workplace. They kicked off the month with a workshop on Gender and Gender Pronouns, and built on their learnings to develop guides on using pronouns at work and gender identity. The company also worked to highlight LGBTQ+ innovators in STEM and supported the ongoing efforts of their PRIDE Employee Resource Group.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) marked Pride Month by hosting a fireside chat to discuss the importance of bringing the queer community into the workplace. The company’s Pride+ Employee Resource Group organized the chat between DTCC’s Head of Diverse Talent Management & Advancement and Angelica Ross, a producer, actress, and founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises.
Events don’t need to be grandiose to be impactful. Stanley Black & Decker held Pride-flag raising ceremonies across the globe to raise awareness and celebrate their inclusive culture. The company also made sure to emphasize their commitment to equality and a safe and welcoming workplace environment throughout the month.
ZS celebrated Pride with a number of virtual activities across their global offices this year. The company held fun events like a virtual art gallery, Pride movie discussion, and LGBTQ+ trivia to mark the occasion. The events were meant to compliment the company’s ongoing efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community. These efforts are led by Pride@ZS, a business resource group, and underscore the organization’s overall commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Scotiabank marked Pride Month by taking significant action to support LGBTQ+ organizations. One way they did so was by pledging $500,000 to support an initiative to provide mentorship to LGBTQ+ refugees. The company’s employees will also serve as mentors through the program. Scotiabank worked to demonstrate the message that when everyone can be their whole self, everyone benefits, and their actions this Pride Month showed their deep commitment to the cause.
Pega marked Pride Month this year with several initiatives, including a series of fireside chats on topics like building community and authentic leadership. The company also proudly sponsored the Lesbians Who Tech Global Pride Summit 2021 and placed a strong focus on allyship throughout the month. Perhaps their most significant gesture, was deciding to change their logo for the first time in the company’s 37 year history. Pega Brand Ambassador and LPGA golfer Mel Reid wore the company’s Pride logo throughout the month, including at the US Open, marking one of the first times a pride logo was displayed in women’s golf.
Here at RippleMatch, we also made sure to celebrate Pride all month long. Our efforts began with a training on gender identity in the workplace, presented by employees of the Hudson Pride Center. Throughout the month, our employees also raised money (matched by RippleMatch,) to donate to the Hudson Pride Center to support the work they do to aid the local LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, we partnered with Bombas to distribute Pride-themed socks. For every pair we gave, another pair was donated to The Ally Coalition, a group that provides critical support to organizations dedicated to bettering the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. Overall, RippleMatch’s Pride Month efforts were meant to complement our ongoing and consistent commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, as we work to help companies improve their early career hiring and provide more opportunities for candidates of all backgrounds.
Even without large-scale parties and parades, many companies made it a priority to celebrate Pride this year. The continuation of virtual events allowed organizations to provide numerous learning opportunities, with many companies offering workshops, panels, or fireside chats. Companies also took advantage of the ability to connect online by hosting worldwide events to bring their entire organizations together, regardless of geographical distance. Even as more in-person events begin to return, we’ll likely see these global-scale virtual events and learning opportunities remain as a way to connect communities worldwide.