At Quest, we strive to make sure ALL stakeholders feel included and have a sense of belonging in the Quest community. We strive to foster an organization where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves into the community. Over the years, the Quest community has had members of the LGBTQIA+ community involved in our community, and many have held leadership positions of Quest. During the month of June, we honor their involvement and accomplishments in Quest by pausing to understand the history of the month, to raise awareness on inclusivity best practices and to highlight organizations that are at the intersection of LGBTQIA+ and technology.
The History of Pride Month
In recent years, the importance of inclusivity has gained widespread recognition, and businesses are increasingly understanding the significance of supporting diverse communities, but let’s look at the origins of Pride Month
Pride Month has its roots in the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous demonstrations that took place in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. The riots were a response to the police raid targeting the LGBTQIA+ community, and they marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights. Following the riots, activists and advocates organized marches and protests, which eventually led to the establishment of Pride Month.
In June 1970, the first Pride parades were held in several cities to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. These parades were a powerful display of unity, resilience, and celebration, as the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies took to the streets to demand equal rights and visibility. Since then, Pride Month has grown into a global event.
While there has been progress made, there is still progress to be made. Here are some best practices for inclusivity in the workplace.
Best Practices for Inclusivity in the Workplace
- Foster an inclusive culture: Companies should prioritize fostering an inclusive workplace culture by promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives. This can be achieved through leadership commitment, implementing inclusive policies and practices, and employee engagement events.
- Establish employee resource groups (ERGs): Encourage the formation of ERGs dedicated to LGBTQIA+ employees and those wishing to learn more. These groups provide a safe space for networking, support, while enabling companies to gain insights into the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ employees.
- Implement inclusive policies: Companies should adopt inclusive policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Additionally, providing benefits such as inclusive healthcare coverage demonstrates a commitment to inclusion.
- Support organizations: Companies and individuals can support organizations offering various types of support to the LGBTQIA+ community and causes through financial or volunteer programs.
Organizations at the Intersection of LGBTQIA+ Inclusion and Technology
- Lesbians Who Tech: A community of LGBTQIA+ women and gender nonconforming individuals in technology, Lesbians Who Tech hosts events, conferences, and networking opportunities to promote inclusivity and visibility within the tech industry.
- Out in Tech: This nonprofit organization aims to empower LGBTQIA+ individuals working in technology by providing a supportive community and opportunities for professional development. They organize events, mentorship programs, and career fairs.
- TransTech Social Enterprises: Focusing on transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, TransTech Social Enterprises provides education, training, and resources to empower them to pursue careers in technology.
- Open for Business: This coalition of global companies seeks to advance LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the workplace. They provide research, resources, and best practices to help companies create more inclusive environments.
By understanding the history behind Pride Month and adopting best practices for inclusivity, companies can foster an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work. Through these efforts, businesses can contribute to a more inclusive society while reaping the benefits of a diverse and engaged workforce.