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Embracing Diversity Beyond Pride Month

Hello! It’s Chris Beaman, CAE, and I’m the Corporate Partnerships Officer for Sigma Nursing, the global honor society and professional association for nurse leaders. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I also serve in a couple of leadership roles with local organizations, including on the Board of IYG (formerly Indiana Youth Group) and as the Chair of my alma mater's (Butler University) LGBT Alumni Association Steering Committee.

As we collectively conclude Pride Month, I find it's a great time to reflect on the strides that've been made and recognize that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must extend beyond these thirty days. I’m particularly proud to have had the opportunity to lead a campaign within the Butler University community to “Celebrate Bulldog Pride” by featuring diverse individuals and their stories on our Instagram page. And it has me wondering — what’s next?!

Pride Month for the LGBTQIA+ community serves as a time to celebrate progress, honor those who fought for our rights and equality, and acknowledge the work still needed to ensure inclusivity. As organization leaders, it's your responsibility to carry the momentum generated during Pride Month forward throughout the year. 

Inclusive workplaces aren’t just the right thing to do; they also give your organization a strategic advantage. Research consistently shows that diverse teams drive innovation, creativity, and better decision-making. When employees feel valued and respected, they are more engaged, productive, and loyal. (Don't believe me? Check out this Forbes article, One More Time: Why Diversity Leads to Better Team Performance)

Here are a few actionable steps to consider within your organization beyond Pride Month:

  1. Cultivate an Inclusive Culture — Create a safe space where all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feel accepted and valued. This includes implementing comprehensive non-discrimination policies and promoting respect and understanding through regular training and education programs.

  2. Listen and Learn — Engage with your LGBTQIA+ employees and members to understand their experiences and challenges. Establish employee resource groups (ERGs) and encourage open dialogue. Listening to their stories and feedback can provide valuable insights into improving your workplace culture.

  3. Celebrate Diversity Year-Round — Acknowledge and celebrate diverse cultures and identities throughout the year. This can be done through various events, awareness days, and continuous education efforts that highlight different aspects of diversity. LGBTQIA+ specific examples include National Coming Out Day on October 11th and International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st.

  4. Review Policies and Practices — Regularly review your organization’s policies, benefits, and practices to ensure they are inclusive. This might include revising healthcare benefits to cover the needs of transgender employees, implementing flexible leave policies, or ensuring equal opportunities for advancement.

  5. Lead by Example — As a leader, your actions set the tone for the entire organization. Demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity through your words and actions.Support LGBTQ+ causes, advocate for equal rights, and hold yourself and your team accountable for fostering an inclusive environment. 

Speaking of examples, I love sharing examples of amazing work when I find them. The American Bar Association has a dedicated webpage on celebrating Pride Month provides information about the history and significance of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, but it also includes links to resources such as “LGBTQ+ Resources in Business and the Workplace” from the Library of Congress, “Supporting Transgender People in Your Life” from the National Center for Transgender Equality, and more. However, ABA also has another website under their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Center that has a plethora of news, resources, and opportunities organized by their Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. I’d encourage you to check it out by clicking the image below to discover the depth and breadth of their support and educational resources.

As Pride Month ends and your rainbow logo and imagery fade away, I hope your work to champion your LGBTQIA+ employees and members doesn’t stop there.

Rather, I hope it serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion every day. By doing so, we not only honor the spirit of Pride, but also build stronger, more resilient, and innovative organizations. 

Let’s commit to making inclusivity a cornerstone of our workplace culture, ensuring that every individual can bring their authentic selves to work—today and always.


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