Every June, we watch the world turn rainbow for the most memorable of LGBT awareness dates: Pride month. Corporate logos, t-shirts, and tv shows that are supposed to convey which companies are allies. But just in this one month. (Note sarcasm.) Tis the season to monetize the rainbow, I guess.
What I think they forget is that people are part of the LGBTQIA+ community all year. They live out loud every day. Simultaneously, there are bills and headlines that hurt – just about every day. Why should corporations that want to make money off our Pride limit celebration and allyship to June alone?
They shouldn’t – internally or in their merchandise. I mean, I love a rainbow carrot t-shirt any time of year. Plus, when you’re planning internal education events you don’t have to wait for 1 month. There are awareness dates and educational opportunities to share with your team year round.
Celebrating LGBT Awareness Dates
Of course, that kind of education and celebration takes a budget. It’s not just asking your ERG members to be speakers every time a new holiday is coming up. I hear companies doing exactly that far too often. Rainbow backgrounds in June, then they rely on people who work for their organization to do the emotional labor of educating their teammates.
My short feedback? Don’t. If you’re planning to build an ERG program that adds impact, set a budget. No, that doesn’t mean $1,000 for a lunch in June. It means a sustainable, realistic, and annually growing budget. Something that grows with your company as you hire more employees.
Then, hire speakers – and be upfront about pay. No one should be sharing their trauma and telling stories that help you build culture for free. Now, that comes with some negotiation and I’d encourage you to be honest. If someone came to me and said: “We are an organization of X size and we have this many educators come per year. We allocate X amount per speaker,” there’s a good chance their honesty would make me adapt my fee. I’m willing to do that when I know a company is making consistent effort all year. Let’s talk if that’s you.
Investing In Culture And Community
This investment isn’t just about your company and it’s culture. It’s about helping people learn so they can be better in their community and family, not just at work. This education impacts the bottom line, too, by creating the safe space everyone needs before they can take an innovative approach to work, or whatever that values poster on the wall says.
Check out this workplace calendar of LGBT awareness dates in 2023. Steal it. Schedule speakers now (and call me if you want to talk). Thanks to Max Siegel for sharing the original. Click on Max’s name to see a list with even more ways to celebrate people at work.
All Month | LGBT+ History Month 2023 (UK)
All Month | Bisexual Health Awareness Month 2023
31 Mar | International Transgender Day Of Visibility 2023
24 Apr – 30 Apr | Lesbian Visibility Week 2023
26 Apr | Lesbian Visibility Day 2023
17 May | International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2023
22 May | Harvey Milk Day 2023
All Month | LGBT+ Pride Month 2023
28 Jun | Stonewall Riots Anniversary
10-16 Jul | Non-binary Awareness Week 2023
14 Jul | International Non-Binary People’s Day 2023
16 Jul | International Drag Day 2023
17-23 Sep | Bisexual Awareness Week 2023
23 Sep | Bisexual Visibility Day 2023
All Month | LGBT History Month 2023 (USA and Canada)
8 Oct | International Lesbian Day 2023
11 Oct | National Coming Out Day 2023
18 Oct | International Pronoun Day 2023
All Month | Trans Awareness Month
5 Nov | Trans Parent Day 2023
12-18 Nov | Trans Awareness Week 2023
20 Nov | Transgender Day Of Remembrance 2023
1 Dec | World AIDS Day 2023
10 Dec | Human Rights Day 2023
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.