I want to celebrate Pride month. I run a small SMB recruiting shop. I’m not even sure I have an LGBTQIA+ person working for me. I mean, I wouldn’t ask, I would hope they were comfortable enough to share if they wanted, but I can’t tell you 100% either way. They would have my support, is what I’m saying.
You see, it’s clumsy for me, and I like to consider myself an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community. Imagine what it’s like for other SMB leaders who don’t have the experience and support easily available.
If I worked for a large/enterprise company I think it’s easy to celebrate Pride month. You know if you have hundreds and thousands of employees, you definitely have some LGBIIQA+ working for you and applying to your jobs, and you want to show them support.
If you’re an SMB it’s a bit harder to determine how to celebrate.
I’ve already seen at least a dozen blog posts from large employers saying how you should or how they will be celebrating Pride Month. It’s awesome stuff like:
- Attend a Pride event.
- Volunteer or Donate to Pride causes.
- Be an advocate.
- Educate yourself (I love this one!).
Consider your company’s LGBQIA+ inclusivity.
- Become an Ally.
Most companies in the U.S. are SMB. I’m going to NYC this week and Pride month is alive and well in NYC! As it is in most large cities around the country.
If you come to small to midsized cities in most parts of the U.S. you would have no idea it’s Pride month. It’s just June.
So, what can SMB organizations do to celebrate Pride month? (please share your ideas in the comments!)
- You could raise the flag. Does your company have a flag pole? In June, fly the rainbow flag with pride.
- Hold an inclusivity event. Pride month is as much about celebrating as it’s about educating. We still have so much education to do.
- Establish Inclusivity Policies. The majority of SMB employers do not have inclusivity policies.
- Encourage your employees to show support. Have a day where you all wear signs of support – pins, LGBT-themed clothing, etc.
- Collect donations for a local LGBTQIA+ charity.
All of this does something in your community. It shows them what and who you value. You are taking a stance that you are inclusive for everyone in your community and welcoming.
But, what if an employee asks why are we celebrating Pride Month when we don’t have any LGBTQIA+ in our company?
- Tell them don’t assume this to be true.
- Tell them, just because we might not have any LGBTQIA+’s doesn’t mean we don’t want to attract some to work for us, and celebrating shows that community we are welcoming to them.
- Ask them why they think it’s not important, often they are just showing a prejudice they have, and it might lead to some great training opportunities.
- Ask them how they think you should support the LGBTQIA+ community?
- This is really the same thing as #BLM and Black History Month. You might be a small business and not have any black employees, it doesn’t mean to don’t celebrate. Your employees have black relatives, friends, community members, etc. This is about showing you value all of your community.
I’m no expert. I’m just a dude running a small company who wants to support Pride month. I won’t get it 100% right, not even close, but I’m going to start and try.