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It’s June again, somehow. Happy almost-summer, and happy Pride. Lately, corporate Pride celebrations have gotten a bit of a bad rep. Big organizations, from banks to big dairy to weapons manufacturers slap a rainbow on their logo and call it a day. Folks are over it, and, rightly, calling bullshit. The days of not walking your talk (even if you can’t walk in heels!) are done.

Does this mean your company should avoid celebrating Pride at all? Absolutely not. It just means that before we invite the world over for a parade, we want to have a few things in order.

Don’t make it a June-only party

First, let’s take a look at your benefits. Do they cover gender affirmation procedures? Have good pharmaceutical coverage? One common mistake startups make is providing only Health Spending Account (HSA) plans (say, $1000 monthly for all benefits, with no drug coverage or anything else). These plans are not inclusive for those who might need more in-depth health coverage, LGBTQ+ or otherwise.

Then, let’s talk about gender identity at work. Do your forms and software allow for information like pronouns and preferred (non legal) names? Many companies are now making it standard to include pronouns in email signatures, and Slack just rolled out a pronoun feature. Have an employee who’s changing their pronouns? Check out this surprisingly excellent guide to supporting transitioning employees put out by the Ontario government.

You’ll want to have some good conversations. We are not currently offering LGBTQ+-specific DEI training, but highly recommend Challenge Accepted and the Get Real Movement.

Interested in making a monetary donation? Organizations like the 519 (who we support via the Bright + Early Better Workplaces Fund) and the Rainbow Railroad are excellent choices.

Finally, don’t make it a June-only party. There are days for other specific communities (like National Coming Out Day, and Non Binary People’s day) that you can can celebrate throughout the year.

Here’s what’s on our radar this week:

This emoji, made by Chief Lady Bird, that you can upload to Slack to celebrate Indigenous History Month.

This incredibly handy guide to employing people in most countries around the world, including taxes and norms like parental leave and pay customs.

7 ways your hybrid return-to-work model might fail, and how to avoid them.

Thanks for reading, and have a bright weekend.