Pride and The Technology Industry

Pride and The Technology Industry

June is Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating, acknowledging, and supporting LGBTQ+ communities around the world.  Usually, this time of year we see an explosion of colour, positively parading our streets in solidarity with the cause. But this year with the pandemic restrictions individuals and organisations have had to get a little more creative in order to show their support.

How Tech Giants Are Recognising Pride Month

In 2021 tech companies are celebrating Pride in the best way they know how – with small, quirky product updates:

Apple

This year Apple leads the charge debuting a new Pride edition band and watch face. This product incorporates a broader set of colours inspired by multiple Pride flags that represent the diverse LGBTQ+ community. The best part of this particular Pride indulgence is that some of the proceeds go to groups like GLSEN, Gender Spectrum and the Trevor Project.

Apple Pride Watch on Woman

Google

The search engine giant added a Pride Month Easter egg. When you search for “Pride” or “Pride Month” on Google.com. animated confetti and flags fill your screen. This works on the mobile app as well… Fabulous, right?! 

Google.org is further supporting the community by donating millions of dollars to OutRight Action and Transgender Law Centre to help groups recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google Screenshot of their Pride affect

Facebook

Facebook has announced a range of new in-app features and tools to help users participate in Pride month. Post backgrounds, custom avatars and celebratory stickers all help to show pride on FB this month. The platform is also working with NGOs and experts to discuss mental health, share resources and showcase inclusive Facebook communities with users all over the world. 

Facebook pride emoji'

Why We Celebrate?

While it’s nice to see these kind of fun Pride-themed product tweaks during the month of June, it shouldn’t distract from the real issue. Findings from its 2019 Work Report  concluded that:

  • one in five LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues because they’re LGBT
  • one in eight trans people have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues because of being trans
  • one-third of LGBT staff have hidden or disguised that they are LGBTQ+ at work to avoid discrimination

How To Celebrate Pride All Year Round?

So, beyond advertising, logos, Pride floats, beyond the month of June itself many organisations and fintech firms need to do more to prevent their LGBTQ+ employees facing fundamental barriers to success and respectful treatment.

3 Meaningful Ways To Support LGBTQ+ Communities Beyond The Month Of June

Don’t let that rainbow fade! Here are 3 ways to support the LGBTQ+ community and their rights in our everyday lives:

Educate and Celebrate

Educational workshops, lunch and learn sessions, ‘Raise Your Voice’ initiatives are all ways to help celebrate and promote diversity. There is a huge range of free resources available from different organisations on how to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. There are also widely available documentaries, films, podcasts, and social media campaigns created by LGBTQ+ groups

Spend time as an individual or an organisation learning about diversity, inclusivity, and the history of Pride.

Volunteer and Donate

Give back to the community through a volunteer initiative such as supporting a local LGBTQ+ group or community centre. Or raise money for a charity/foundation such as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. To find a great charity for a certain cause, try using Charity Navigator

Consider Your Companies Inclusivity

Does your company have a culture and resources that promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity? Are there ways you can create a more inclusive workplace? Start a dialogue and make resources available to try to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and accepted. Set up an employee network by creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies to meet up and share opportunities and confront challenges in day-to-day working life. Revisit your diversity policy and consider your diversity and inclusion in your recruiting and onboarding process too.

Creating a more inclusive society is an ongoing process that will take time and effort on everyone’s part but a workplace where everyone belongs, is one where everyone can thrive – and that is worth striving for.