With pride month upon us, it is another beautiful opportunity to display love, equality and togetherness. This is a time of embracement, love who you are and never feel ashamed. The LGBTQ+ community is growing and growing. This positive movement has been recognised by organisations and has in-fact led to strong alliances with the community to help facilitate the needed change. I want to bring awareness to companies/ brands that do not simply seek to comply but go above and beyond to support the LGBTQ+ rights, creating a healthier environment for all.
The first organisation is the innovative furniture company IKEA. This organisation supports LGBTQ+ rights through the depth of organisational culture as well as the celebration of national events and products. It would be a mere statement of the truth to suggest they are simply inclusive. To help fund the communities they replaced the famous blue bag in Spain with a limited-edition LGBT flag bag. In addition, they participate in global events such as ‘IDAHOT’ (the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia). This signifies IKEAS strong efforts to stand up to discrimination and motivate self-affirmation.
Network rail is an extremely inclusive organisation that goes the extra step in supporting the LGBTQ+ community as well as various other groups. The creation of the Archway employee network permits influence on the policies at the organisation. This ensures equal opportunity and creates solutions to problems before they exist. This faculty also encourages employees to learn about LGBTQ+ rights and the history of the community through workshops and lectures. Businesses face immense competition although Network rail has decided to share this ‘platform’ with competitors, further highlighting their efforts in taking a global approach to influence positive change.
In 2017 PayPal was named the best place to work for LGBT equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundations. The organisation has introduced a wide range of benefits to support individuals in being their authentic selves. For example, PayPal has said they will cover expenses in sex reassignment surgery, facial feminisation surgery, breast implants and hormone replacement therapies. There are also key programs in place to help manage stress and even family planning advice. PayPal should be praised for their holistic approach in supporting the LGBTQ+ communities, helping spread awareness and positivity. This helps every member of the community become their true self.
To go the extra mile, organisations need to think about their potential to impact the future. Homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries and companies such as Absolut deserve recognition for their attempts to change this. Their campaign ‘Kiss with pride’ has large investment into filters on largely used platforms such as Snapchat to garner global awareness and promote equality on a wider scale. For every use of this filter, Absolut has promised a £1 donation. This highlights their desires to contribute to every member of the community from all areas of the globe. This is positive future thinking and will help in educating a worldwide audience.
By Joshua Perretta