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Lior Locher

NIIT

Learning Consultant

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Beyond Pride: What is next?

Another year’s Pride Month is done and dusted. Here is what Lior Locher and Dr Christy Allen recommend you do now to increase impact after key DEI initiatives.
multicolored wall in shallow focus photography: pride DEI image

And the 11 other months of the year?

 By the time this article drops in July, you will have finished those rainbow cupcakes, and the bunting will have been cleared out, and the DEI pictures posted on social media of all the happy people celebrating Pride month will have disappeared amongst newer news. 

Don’t get us wrong, celebrating is good. Awareness is good. Having a “month” dedicated to a topic can provide a good opportunity to create awareness and momentum – to launch, revise, or recommit to your longer-term initiatives that include action and accountability.  

Assuming you’ve already raised awareness and done some good training, here is what we recommend you reckon with past the topic month like June’s Pride and other similar initiatives, to increase impact once the calendar page turns: 

Data, data and – data! 

Have a look at your data. What do you track, and why, and what else might be helpful? For instance, re-visit what you offer for gender identity options, keeping in mind the nonbinary people in your organisation. And consider not just the options themselves, but how often you’re checking back in with people. 

Taking your organisation to a higher level of DEI maturity includes acknowledging that things might change across a long career – without the right metrics in place, you might not know. 

Or people might have no way of telling you, or they might not feel comfortable to disclose. All of which will affect who you think you are working for/with – versus your and your people’s actual reality. 

Percentages might be small but visibility (and more important, acknowledgement and safety) will matter. 

It is important but it doesn’t have to be a Pride dance 

At the same time, you don’t always need to make a whole project out of it to increase and embed common sense inclusivity. ‘Hi everyone’ is better than ‘ladies and gentlemen’. 

A word like ‘people’ is a good plural term for, well, people (of all genders). Start there and make this a regular practice. 

Talk to people and get their views, and think ahead of time what support might be needed and come into the conversation ready.

You hired and employ a fabulous group of people with a brilliant skillset. As one of the authors often says: When I design or run a session or project, it’s a session, not a nonbinary session. I’m at work to do my work, as the person I am, as the professional who happens to be nonbinary.” All the work you do is to create the best environment for people to do their thing. That’s part of what beginning to build true equity means. 

Don’t assume, do your research! 

Check on the leaders and cultural figures who you platform and highlight in your examples, events or general communication.

 People might well be leaders in one part of their lives and at the same time use their platform to cause harm to parts of the population. Keep an eye on the cultural conversation – and when in doubt, ask someone.  

Talk to people and get their views, and think ahead of time what support might be needed and come into the conversation ready. Somebody might be happy to work with or or take business trips in countries where LGBT people face the death penalty. They might not be. Both decisions are understandable. Don’t assume either way. 

Global professionals know this is complicated and, like everyone else, they will expect robust, supportive, practical, adult conversations. Some of these are at the gnarly detailed end of T&Cs. Being able to have those conversations is a key part of DEI accountability too. 

Use your position and your organisation to your advantage

You have a voice in the market, in your industry, community, possibly even country. Use that to make a positive difference routinely (and not just during Pride or another “awareness” month). 

Don’t forget you’re a buyer in the market too. Use that to instigate positive change. A ‘we value XYZ and our people need a clearer line on ABC’’ sends a signal and should be a part of who you partner with for benefits, insurance etc., who you procure goods and services from, where you book your events and whose ideas or persona you amplify by spending your money there. 

Exposure doesn’t pay the bills – don’t be THAT organisation. 

Choose with intent and make it clear why you made that choice so people get feedback where it is due. 

Money speaks a very clear language, louder than social media posting for Pride and other awareness months. Use yours.   

Where you are is where you start 

The good news here is that most of the work you do will also bear fruit for other parts of your community, even though our examples were mostly LGBTQ+-related. 

What will make people’s lives easier is mindful and intentional action at all levels of the organisation, aligned with the values you promote in public. We all will have some room to make the space bigger for a broader representation of people. A lot of this will be relentlessly practical, and that is where change starts: 

We hope you paid your speakers for your Pride (and other identity-centred initiative) events, and didn’t try to lowball them in ways you maybe wouldn’t dare to for leading figures in Marketing or Leadership. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills – don’t be THAT organisation. 

We also hope you are genuinely interested in the more diverse profiles your recruiter or supplier sends you and that you don’t just do it for the stats. And we hope your associates aren’t just on your website as a diversity alibi – but also get good, paid, interesting work that aligns with their fabulous skillset. 

You get the picture. Use your decision-making space to make a practical difference. Ask yourself “what would this decision look like if I was serious about equity, diversity and inclusion” – and then do that (or fight for that, as much as you can). 

The work continues. In training and beyond.

Interested in this topic? Read Pride but not proud

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Lior Locher

Learning Consultant

Read more from Lior Locher