Pride Inside

Pride month is coming this year as LGBTQ+ rights are being further politicized and threatened – and as consumers are increasingly demanding companies to act on social issues.

While Pride month provides an opportunity for companies to show support for their LGBTQ+ employees and customers, companies who get their Pride month celebrations or broader LGBTQ+ advocacy communications wrong risk generating intense public scrutiny.

Against this backdrop, here are some basic rules of the road for companies as they consider their outreach and activities recognizing Pride this year:

  • There is no “one size fits all” approach. Pride will look different at every company and even across industries, but overall it should be informed by:
    • Your corporate values and mission.
    • The context of your past Pride communications and engagement on LGBTQ+ rights issues generally—including political donations—as well as broader social issues.
    • A deep dive into your employee footprint, mapped against state-level legislation and policies (enacted or proposed) and their potential impacts on employees.
    • Input from LGBTQ+ employees or employee resource groups (ERGs).
  • Pair statements and visual demonstrations of support with concrete actions. Pride, which began as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, is a celebration of both community and activism. Highlighting monetary contributions, pro bono work, pro-equality advocacy efforts and corporate policies that help protect LGBTQ+ employees and their families can reinforce allyship and help counter claims of inauthenticity.
  • Demonstrate allyship all year long. Look for opportunities to show consistent support for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year, for example, around public policy developments or celebrations such as National Coming Out Day (October 11, 2022) or Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31, 2023).

One final thought – the fight for LGBTQ+ equality is increasingly seen as part of the broader fights against injustice, whether cultural, racial, gender, economic or otherwise. Companies should consider their outreach and activities recognizing Pride in conjunction with their efforts on broader social issues.