Pride and Progress: Celebrating LGBTIQ+ Inclusion at Work

Pride Month, observed annually in June, commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in the LGBTIQ+ rights movement. It serves as a time to celebrate the diverse identities within the LGBTIQ+ community, raise awareness about LGBTIQ+ rights and issues, and promote acceptance and inclusivity.

How to Recognise and Celebrate Pride Month in the Workplace

Host Educational Workshops: Organise workshops or lunch-and-learns to educate employees about LGBTIQ+ history, terminology, and current issues. This fosters understanding and empathy among team members.

Display Pride Symbols: Visibly show support for LGBTIQ+ employees and create a welcoming environment by decorating the workplace with Pride flags, providing rainbow pins for employees to wear, and using Pride-themed virtual backgrounds in online meetings.

Organise Pride-Themed Events: Plan virtual or in-person events such as movie screenings, a book club, panel discussions, or social gatherings centred around LGBTIQ+ themes. Social events could include Virtual Drag Queen Bingo or even a Team Trivia activity centred around the LGBTIQ+ themes. These events promote unity and solidarity within the workplace.

Movie Suggestions

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These films offer a range of perspectives and stories that highlight the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Moonlight (2016) – An Academy Award-winning film that chronicles the life of a young black man as he grapples with his identity and sexuality while growing up in a rough neighborhood in Miami.
  • Philadelphia (1993) – A groundbreaking film that tells the story of a lawyer with AIDS who sues his former law firm for discrimination, featuring powerful performances by Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.
  • Pride (2014) – Based on a true story, this film depicts the alliance between LGBTQ+ activists and Welsh miners during the 1984 miners’ strike in the UK.
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017) – A documentary exploring the life and mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising and LGBTQ+ activist.

Book Club Suggestions


These books offer diverse perspectives and valuable insights into the LGBTQ+ experience, promoting understanding, empathy, and inclusivity within the workplace.

  • “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World” by Alan Downs – This book explores the emotional challenges faced by gay men and offers strategies for overcoming shame and living authentically.
  • “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” by Janet Mock – A memoir by transgender activist Janet Mock, detailing her journey to womanhood and offering insights into the struggles and triumphs of being a transgender woman of colour.
  • “This Book Is Gay” by Juno Dawson – An informative and entertaining guide that covers a wide range of topics related to LGBTQ+ identity, including coming out, relationships, and the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, making it a great resource for fostering understanding and inclusivity for the community.

    Amplify LGBTIQ+ Voices: Provide opportunities for LGBTIQ+ employees to share their experiences and perspectives. This could include spotlighting LGBTIQ+ leaders, featuring employee stories on company platforms, or hosting LGBTIQ+ guest speakers.

    Offer LGBTIQ+ Resources: Ensure that LGBTIQ+ employees have access to supportive resources, such as employee resource groups, counselling services, or LGBTIQ+ affinity networks. This demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and inclusion.

    Implement Inclusive Policies: Review and update company policies to ensure they are LGBTIQ+-friendly, including non-discrimination policies, gender-neutral restroom options, and inclusive healthcare benefits. This creates a more equitable and supportive workplace for all employees.

How to be an Ally

Educate Yourself: Take the initiative to educate yourself about LGBTIQ+ issues, terminology, and experiences. Listen to LGBTIQ+ voices and seek out resources to deepen your understanding.

Speak Up: Challenge discrimination and microaggressions when you encounter them in the workplace. Use inclusive language and advocate for LGBTIQ+ inclusion and acceptance.

Support LGBTIQ+ Colleagues: Show support for LGBTIQ+ colleagues by actively listening to their experiences, offering assistance when needed, and standing in solidarity with them. Create a safe and affirming space for LGBTIQ+ individuals to thrive. One way to do this is for everyone to share their pronouns in their email signatures or on their online work platforms.

Take Action: Advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights and equality both within and outside the workplace. Participate in Pride events, support LGBTIQ+ organisations, and use your platform to promote LGBTIQ+ visibility and acceptance.

Celebrating Pride Month in the workplace is not only a reflection of an organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion but also an opportunity to create a supportive and affirming environment for LGBTIQ+ employees. By embracing Pride Month through education, events, and allyship, we can foster workplace cultures that value and celebrate the contributions of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. So, continue to champion LGBTIQ+ rights and equality, not just during Pride Month, but every day of the year.