Gather, Dream, and Amplify for Pride
Since June 28, 1970, when the first marches took to the streets of New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, Pride Month has evolved into a global event that has incredible meaning for the LGBTQIA2S+ community that goes well beyond rainbows and parades: Pride Month is a time when we uplift LGBTQ+ voices and commemorate an ongoing fight to achieve freedom, inclusion, and justice without exception.
And, for many of us, it's about showing up as allies supporting the movement for equality — at home, in our communities, and in our workplaces.
This year, observing Pride celebrations is more crucial than ever, given the recent surge in violence involving the LGBTQ+ community and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the US and other parts of the world. Over the past few years, nearly 500 bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights have been advanced in US. In 2022, incidents of violence against LGBTQ+ individuals in the US and Europe reached the highest point in the last decade. And, in many countries across the Asia-Pacific region, the LGBTQ+ community continues to face criminalization and lack of protection.
As recent headlines attest, some businesses have been under fire for showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community. But it's vital that business leaders come together to make a renewed commitment to DEI, creating equitable, tolerant, and safe workplaces promoting growth and solidarity for everyone.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and initiatives only work if they work for all.
At Skillsoft, our own LGBTQ+ community members, their allies, families, and friends are experiencing a range of emotions, including sadness, disappointment, anger, and concerns for their safety given the challenging current environment.
That’s one reason I’m proud that so many at Skillsoft are actively participating in and supporting Pride Month. Our organization strives to be an inclusivity leader, offering transformative educational courses, learning journeys, employee communities, and virtual book clubs that encourage our employees to grow together. Superbia, our LGBTQ+ Community and Allies group, organizes virtual events and Pride celebrations for our team members. This year, the group chose the theme Gather, Dream, Amplify.
Let's break it down a bit:
Gather: Stand together with open minds, build a community willing to share, learn, and grow.
Dream: Dream boldly and envision the future we desire at our workplace and in our communities.
Amplify: Provide space for, elevate and share the voices of underrepresented communities within your organization.
So, how can we Gather, Dream, and Amplify for Pride? Here are a few shout-outs for some very cool things businesses are doing in honor of Pride and for the LGBTQ+ community:
1. Salesforce: They've introduced a new multi-year global gender goal to reach 40% women-identifying and non-binary employees globally by the end of 2026.
2. Microsoft: Learn from LGBTQ+ employees at Microsoft, who share simple truths about their lives with an invitation to visit and support Make Pride. This key element of Microsoft’s Access to All program seeks to help people understand and expand equity and equality.
3. IKEA: IKEA is teaming up with True Colors United and will donate 100% of the advertised retail price from each rainbow STORSTOMMA shopping bag purchased up to a maximum total donation of $50,000.
4. Stanley Black & Decker: From raising rainbow flags and amplifying voices of diverse employees to their sponsorships of external initiatives like National Coming Out Day, they believe it takes daily action to create and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.
What are you and your organization doing this year for Pride Month?
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