May 31st, 8:53 am
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 that inspired the historic gay liberation movement and the fight for LBGT rights that followed. Today, it is the celebration of the LGBTQIA+ identity and a call to action to recognize pressing issues about equality above all else.
In the workplace, pride celebrations offer a chance to raise awareness and support your LGBTQIA+ employees. These virtual Pride ideas are also ways you can drive engagement in your team.
In this article, we’ll talk about nine awesome ways to celebrate Pride month virtually at work, specifically on:
Red, orange, yellow, green, and the combination of different colors placed beside each other is a popular PRIDE symbol. The rainbow colors represent diversity, the very nature of the LGBTQIA community. One way to showcase your team’s support and appreciation for PRIDE month is to have a rainbow-themed meeting.
It’s an inexpensive and achievable idea, something everyone can participate in. During PRIDE month:
Get inspired by some of the best team experiences for this month.
At this point, we can’t stress enough how much we love virtual bingo. It’s such an all-inclusive, fun, social game for everybody, whether young or old. Instead of the usual bingo cards in your happy hour, why not invite a drag queen to host your bingo night. A drag queen calls out the bingo numbers, and the rules of the game remain the same, making it more personalized and interactive.
We love drag queens for many reasons. They bring in a character to the audience, not to mention their professionalism and dedication to this art form. This is bingo with a sparkle of glitz, glam, and good entertainment.
Here’s one art and crafts/DIY activity that you can try - a PRIDE Swag contest. Aside from promoting diversity and creating awareness for the LGBTQIA community, you also encourage creativity among your teams.
Arts and crafts are mental-focused activities and an avenue of artistic expression. If the term swag is too broad, you can start with one item like a pride t-shirt making contest or a pride face mask-making competition. I find that swags are a good branding technique in instilling loyalty and culture in your teams.
Here are some swag examples:
Encourage your teams to go beyond the rainbow colors and to research pride symbols and themes. Each research effort allows them to learn more about pride and how they can better express their support through art.
Enjoy a crafting experience with your team.
Having activities and games are certainly enjoyable but educating oneself about diversity is a step higher in understanding the fight and plight of our PRIDE members. In the workplace, we may have our unconscious biases. Helping your employees become aware of that eliminates the barriers that hinder inclusivity and diversity.
When an organization accepts each other’s differences in race, religion, or sexual preference, a positive and collaborative environment emerges. People become more comfortable sharing ideas and perspectives and are motivated.
Here are some topics to cover in a diversity and inclusion workshop:
These are just suggestions, but the best way is to assess your team first on their know-how. Here’s a podcast about diversity and inclusion in the workplace by Harvard Business Review and our Diversity and Inclusion Workshops.
It’s one thing to float around Pride activities and banners alongside your company logo, but highlighting the very people within it shows authenticity and genuineness.
Feature LGBTQIA+ team members’ stories of pride every week and share this with the rest of the organization. One may share how that person has come out to friends and how that shaped them into who they are now. A second volunteer may engage in a conversation about one felt supported, heard, and valued as a member of your organization. Another idea is to feature LGBTQIA+ single parents or couples and allow them to share the challenges and advantages of raising a family.
Testimonials send signals that your organization respects and celebrates the individual experiences of PRIDE members who are also your own. It also brings a message to your people that no matter their sexual preference, they have a welcome environment in your workplace.
Pride members and allies come out to the street with rainbow themes and colors and participate in demonstrations highlighting their pride to come out and be in the LGBTQIA+ community. Some members and allies also come with a socially active spirit, bringing in posters and placards bearing social issues relevant to their cause. Pride parades are also an avenue for pride members to see that there's a community that supports them.
To bring a virtual pride parade to your workplace, you can join local in-person parades virtually by partnering with any of your local pride march organizers. Some organizations that you can tap with are NYC Pride, Dublin Pride, Pride Barcelona, Pride in London, to name a few.
You can also host one by yourselves by inspiring your team to film themselves joining a pride parade in their nearby communities or sharing footage of them and their families celebrating pride in their own homes. You can then collect and gather these videos and clip them all together in one film. Be sure to highlight each contributor who joined your virtual parade.
Actions are impactful when they help the community. One way to embark on that mission is to set up a donation drive or a fundraising activity for LGBTQIA+ groups. In this way, you unite your team into a common cause and instil a sense of community. You also provide them opportunities to help and feel purposeful.
Big corporations have flexible budgets for this and donate a portion of their profit to their chosen beneficiaries. If you’re a small organization, don’t fret. There are still lots of ways for you to extend a hand. Why not organize a virtual concert where proceeds go directly to a pride organization.
If you can’t host one, you can share resources on where your teams can direct contributors. Some of these organizations are:
Better yet, scout for local pride organizations where most of your teams reside and are more accessible to them.
What would be a parade without some fun moments together? Make sure to check some of our Fun Talent Shows.
Here’s a pride month idea that touches on entrepreneurship and that is primarily providing support. You can organize a pride bazaar. It's an online market where your organization can feature queer-owned small to medium businesses. A virtual bazaar will let them highlight their products and services to your employees and potential customers.
To complement that, you can organize a workshop on marketing, design and so on. Facilitators will be volunteers from your organization who are the subject-matter experts. These efforts may not just be one-time events. You can feature different businesses every week on your company emails, social media, or on Slack channels.
For more community-centric activities, check out this list of Virtual Games.
Social media has always been a great tool to raise awareness. You can share your other Pride activities on your company’s LinkedIn account and connect with networks of professionals who support your initiatives. You can also generate profile banners on Facebook highlighting your support for Pride month. Instagram Lives is also another way to host Pride Q&As or inclusion talks.
Celebrating Pride in the workplace is about making everybody feel welcome regardless of their personal preferences. When people feel accepted, you have a more productive, motivated, and successful workplace. When your environment welcomes different perspectives, a drive for innovation follows.
Awareness and recognition of Pride in the workplace provide a safe and encouraging space for LGBTQ employees to share their ideas. It also brings about a feeling that their opinions are being heard and they have a community that appreciates them. When they become more engaged, they can contribute to their full potential in the growth of the business.
Bringing awareness to pride, diversity, and inclusion bridges the gap between ignorance and discriminatory social norms. When we are more aware, we seek out resources to make us more educated. We become closer to organizations and groups where we can contribute. We have more chances to learn about the community and be active participants in it.
Beyond the ideas and activities that you can do for Pride month, choosing to embody acceptance and encouragement in the workplace for anyone is always the best thing that you can do for the LGBTQ community.
While Pride month is just one month in a year, taking steps to foster a Pride-loving workplace is a whole year and day-to-day effort.
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