What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is dedicated to the worlds LGBTQIA + communities coming together to celebrate, protest and show pride for the community.
It is celebrated in June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, when police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in New York City.
In response, a series of spontaneous demonstrations and protests were carried out by the gay community.
A year later, Brenda Howard, a bisexual New York activist nicknamed ‘Mother of Pride,’ organised the first Pride parade to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Alas, Pride Month was born! With the first UK Pride held in London in 1972.
Why are we celebrating Pride Month today?
There are some scary statistics out there. Recent research found that only 1.2% of senior management/directors are both LGBTQIA + and a woman. A little bit better for men at 3.0%, but still not great. 
These statistics not only show that the LGBTQIA + community is still massively underrepresented in the workplace but also that we have a long way to go as a society. Research shows that people who are ‘out’ in the workplace are generally happier within their careers and experience less stress.  But if we are not seeing LGBTQIA + people climbing the corporate ladder, being promoted, smashing their careers and challenging perceptions, where is the motivation for LGBTQIA + people to bring their whole selves to the workplace?
So yes, Pride is critically important and having a month dedicated to the movement is still massively indispensable in 2021.
How is Route contributing to Pride Month?
At Route, our contribution is focusing on communicating the inclusive and empathetic culture we withstand and how creating this safe structural environment can shape people’s performance within their roles.
We created a video to better communicate this. We hope you find it useful and insightful. Or if nothing else, the end gives you a laugh.
Pride Month, for us, goes further than a month dedicated to the movement. As a small business, it is our responsibility to create a culture that promotes inclusivity. We feel a responsibility to eradicate the need to self-censor who you are when you come to work. Of course, you don’t need to tell your employees every little detail about your life, but your right to show up to the office as who you are should never be up for discussion.
How can we all be better allies?
There are a few things we can all do to be better allies, creating safe spaces for everybody in the workplace.
- Create structural support. Having HR teams or mental health ambassadors that are available to seek support from if needed is really important.
- Stamp out inappropriate behaviour. This is key to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.
- Research, educate and read up! Paul, our campaign manager and star of Pride Month video, recommends The Tale of The City books if you are looking to better understand the community. Also, check out Michelle Visage on Twitter.
Eradicating judgement and stereotypes and replacing with kindness and equality might feel like a fight too big. Or it might not feel like your fight at all. But we all have a part to play. Real change comes when normal people make small alterations daily. The fight doesn’t need to be aggressive, or taken head on, sometimes fighting means being persistent and patient. It is correcting language, educating, putting more bodies and voices in a room, listening, reflecting, asking questions.
These are the things that create a cultural shift. And we all have a part to play. So, let’s play the part every day, not only throughout June.
The #rightroute can only ever be one of acceptance and inclusion.