Raising awareness for workplace inclusion this Pride Month


By Liz Chapa and Jason Kokkat

Happy Pride Month, everyone; a month of celebration, remembrance, and dedication to raising awareness. However, there’s still progress to be made: According to the LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work 2022 study by Deloitte, 42 percent of respondents reported they have experienced non-inclusive behaviors in the workplace both in the office and virtually.

Regardless of industry, the workplace is changing. In the era of remote work, it’s all that much more important to foster inclusivity. We’ve come a long way, but there’s more work to do: It’s impossible to ignore the slew of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the headlines, and when it comes to the workplace, only 22 states plus the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Five decades ago, the idea of an openly queer coworker would’ve been unthinkable. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder and many LGBTQ+ individuals lived in secrecy, afraid to be who they were in public. Now openly queer people can be employed, appear in the media, and take ownership around how they want to share their personal life.

The future is looking so much brighter. In the past decade, there has been a shift in awareness regarding how we can be better allies and create a place of inclusivity. Working for a company like Offleash that welcomes you with open arms from day one makes going to work all that much better—everyone deserves to feel that way. 

This month, as we recognize progress and incremental wins, take a moment to consider how you can support the community even if it’s one small gesture. We can achieve so much more together when we rally around our friends. 

Here are three ways to celebrate this month: 

Join in on your local Pride festivities. Most major cities honor the month with festivals and parades filling the streets with music and performing arts. Fun fact: In 1970, pride and protest marches were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco around the first anniversary of Stonewall, later becoming an annual event across the globe. Here’s a useful guide: https://www.gaypridecalendar.com/world 

Educate through reading, watching, or asking questions. There are many eye-opening LGBTQ+ movies available to stream. Or, sources like The Library of Congress offer an LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide to serve as a starting point for learning about monumental events like Stonewall Pride at 50: From Stonewall to Today

Give back to the community by volunteering. Whether you go solo or bring the family along, there are many ways you can participate and make an impact this month. This could look like helping out a local community center that prioritizes the queer community or finding an organization like the Trevor Project that works with young people navigating tough times.