The start of July is an obvious time to reflect back on Pride Month. This year, Society used its social media accounts throughout June to share content around LGBTQ+ topics. From highlighting appointments we have made at the likes of GLAAD, through to sharing information and resources from other organizations, we have sought to use our platforms as allies of the LGBTQ+ community. We also happen to be working on the appointment of a new Chair of Trustees for Stonewall at the current time, and were therefore able to host an ‘Open Hour’ during Pride Month, in which potential candidates could meet their CEO, Nancy Kelley, and their outgoing Chair, Sheldon Mills.
But now that Pride Month has ended, what does that mean? That we wait for Pride Month 2023 to continue being allies? That obviously isn’t an ethical or proactive approach. There are actions that we can take all year round to help the LGBTQ+ community, even if those actions might be less visible outside of June.
But allyship mustn’t end on 1st July. As recruiters, we know it’s important that we use our voice not only to engage and present candidates from the community, but also to educate clients around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, employment remains one of the most challenging issues facing LGBTQ+ people. A 2017 study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 20% of LGBTQ+ Americans have faced discrimination due to their sexual orientation or identity while applying for a job (going up to 32% for LGBTQ+ people of color), while 22% have mentioned that they do not have equal pay to their straight peers. In the UK, according to Stonewall, the numbers are similar, with 18% of LGBTQ+ people facing discrimination when applying for a job.
This data remains at the forefront of our minds as we work with new clients, as we reach out to potential candidates, and as we seek to be ever more vocal allies collectively.
But there are also things we can do individually.
There are many different types of LGBTQ+ organisation out there – from those who focus on advocacy and policy change, through to those that focus on specific issue areas or interest groups, such as youth, homelessness, or healthcare. These organizations are constantly looking for volunteers. They also welcome donations, whether of money or goods, that can help them to continue their mission. Through small actions, we can help the community as they fight towards more equality in the world.
So let’s use today to reflect: how could you be a better ally year-round for the LGBTQ+ community?