Pride is More Than Just About Cake

Posted in : HR Updates on 8 August 2022
Olga Pollock
firmus energy
Issues covered: LGBTQ+; Inclusive Workplaces; Pride

Last week, alongside my colleagues, we celebrated Pride, supporting sexual diversity and LGBTQ+ rights within the workplace. We dressed in bright colours for the day, decorated the office with Pride flags and ate lots (and lots) of Pride-themed cake and skittles. In recognition of this event, some organisations change their corporate logos on social media to rainbow branding, making a public declaration of their commitment to promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion.

As I drove to work that morning, excited about the day ahead, I tuned into a radio broadcast of a spokesperson from local LGBTQ+ charity, Cara Friend. The discussion focused on practical ways that employers can support and include LGBTQ+ employees making me appreciate how such inclusion goes well beyond cake and rainbow logos. LGBTQ+ inclusion needs to be part of a long-term strategy to ensure that everyone is respected, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Here are some of the top tips that I gleaned from the radio interview:

-          Training – raise awareness of LGBTQ+ diversity through staff training. This can be delivered online through eLearning courses or through resources available from one of the local LGBTQ+ charities such as Cara Friend or The Rainbow Project.

  • Guest speakers - invite a young person to come into your organisation to talk about their LGBTQ+ work experiences and share stories of what worked, or what didn’t in terms of making them feel included at work.
  • Gender neutral toilets: yes, I know how obsessed we can become with toilets but having a dedicated restroom is more inclusive for non-binary people who don’t identify with the gender binary of single-sex toilets.
  • List your pronouns on emails or professional networking sites - clearing stating your pronouns has become a way for everyone to normalise not assuming someone’s gender.

Other LGBTQ+ inclusions ideas may include:

  • Updating your recruitment and selection statements to include reference to welcoming candidates from the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Sponsoring LGBTQ+ events or donating to an LGBTQ+ charity. You may even consider appointing one as your charity of the year.
  • Ensure that your Dignity & Inclusion Policy reflects LGBTQ+ rights. Having a separate LGBTQ+ is an even better way to clearly outline your commitment to tackling and avoiding discrimination in this area.
  • Set up an LGBTQ+ network allowing LGBTQ+ employees to meet in a safe place within their workplace where they can relate to one another. This should ideally be open to non-LGBTQ+ employees too.
  • Send a survey and ask staff for their opinions on how to make the workplace more LGBTQ+ friendly. Often your people will have the best ideas.
  • Appoint champions who can promote LGBTQ+ rights within work and act as a point of contact and source of support for LGBTQ+ staff.

Organisations that implement more effective LGBTQ+ policies for staff should avoid costs due to staff taking off time caused by the stress of having to supress their identities. It should also attract and retain talent and customers who align with your LGBTQ+ values and inclusive reputation.

Consider asking Cara Friend or The Rainbow Project for advice on where to start. They will be more than happy to help, and it will also send a clear message to staff that you are taking this important matter seriously; again important ingredients when attracting both staff and clients.

Useful Reading:

Diversity & Inclusion eLearning Course:   

Cara Friend website:

The Rainbow Project website:

This article is correct at 08/08/2022

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Olga Pollock
firmus energy

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