Each June, people across the world celebrate Pride Month. Rainbow flags appear everywhere to symbolize diversity and unity among the LGBTQ+ community.
Yet increasingly during Pride each year, we're now seeing more and more major corporations turn their logos into a rainbow. Though this outward display is meant to hop on the bandwagon of solidarity, in reality many of these companies are taking advantage of the buying power of the LGBTQ+ community, or even taking actions that are harmful to LGBTQ+ rights.
What's now called #RainbowWashing is a form of performative allyship, which is when a person or organization signals support of a marginalized group without meaningful action to back it up.
As a voice and communication consultant inside companies, I've seen how issues like this create a corporate culture where voices are suppressed. When a company only markets their values without actually embodying them, we're seeing an instance of speech out of alignment with actions.
On June 24th, 2021, I appeared on Good Morning Washington to share how the Conversation Culture structure can help organizations become accountable for truly supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Step 1: Pause and check in with your body. Is it safe for you to have this conversation? If not, this is what allies are for!
Step 2: Get curious and listen. You may think you're right, but you'll never get on the same page if you approach the conversation with that attitude.
Step 3: Picture yourself on the same team. You may have different interests in this conversation, but you all want a healthy world for your children and a safe place to work.
Step 4: When all else fails, be kind. These conversations don't change things overnight. Build bridges through kindness and respect to keep the conversation going.
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