International Pride Month takes place throughout June. It is celebrated every June as a tribute to those who were involved in Stonewall Riots. They were important protests that took place in 1969 in the US, that changed gay rights for a lot of people in America and around the world.
Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ culture, achievements and activism through a series of organised activities, including film festivals, art exhibits, marches, concerts and other programs.
Through these efforts, the LGBTQ community and its allies also aim to increase awareness over ongoing issues of inequality as well as commemorate the lives lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS.
The rainbow flag is universally recognized as the symbol for LGBTQ pride. Created by Gilbert Baker, a renowned San Francisco activist, the flag was flown for the first time at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day celebration.
According to Baker, what inspired him about the rainbow was that it represented all the genders, races and stands for “the rainbow of humanity.” Each of the six colours of the rainbow flag represent a different aspect of the LGBTQ movement including life, healing, sunlight, nature, serenity and spirit.
To some, the rainbow flag also signifies power, rebellion and hope.
Global Pride Day is 27 June and on that day, there are usually colourful parades, concerts and marches.
As an employer why is it important to recognise and celebrate Pride month in the work place?
Pride month is an important celebration to mark in the workplace to encourage inclusivity and acceptance. Inclusivity is crucial to retaining talented employees and maintaining job satisfaction.
What legal requirements do you need to know as an employer?
To learn about LGBTIQ+ employment rights, first, make sure you know your legislation. There are certain laws in place to protect staff from discrimination. The main law you need to know is the Equality Act 2010.
This protects people from being discriminated against because of these protected characteristics: age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.
The Equality Act 2010 outlines the types of discrimination that staff are protected from.
- Direct discrimination – you are treated unfavourably because of any protected characteristics.
- Indirect discrimination – you are at a disadvantage because of workplace policies or ways of working that discriminate against or exclude any protected characteristics.
- Harassment – you are offended, humiliated, or degraded by someone because of any protected characteristics.
- Victimisation – you are treated badly for making or supporting a discrimination claim.
What should you do next?
Review your workplace policies to make sure there are no inclusion barriers. It’s key to look at your policies on parental leave and adoption, and other family policies. Make sure they’re inclusive of all gender identities and sexualities.
You should also have a policy on equality and diversity that outlines:
- the Equality Act 2010
- your attitude towards equality and discrimination
- the work environment you want to create
- your zero-tolerance for discrimination and what will happen if anyone discriminates, i.e. disciplinary action.
Make sure the language you use in your policies is inclusive too.
What are your legal responsibilities to your employees?
Employers have a legal duty to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees and should therefore consider how any current workers from the LGBTQ community are being treated within their organisation.
Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity, equality, and respect to all. Each organisation should not tolerate any acts of unlawful or unfair discrimination, including harassment committed against an employee.
What else can you do?
To further promote awareness of Equality and Diversity employers could also provide training and development activities for all employees as well as consider implementing open forums that can process any concerns or suggestions from employees.
How can we help?
If you would like some further advice around this topic in the workplace, assistance with creating or amending policies, or are interested in an equality and diversity /dignity at work training session for your team – please contact us on 01352 878535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some useful links for further help and support: