5 Ways Your Organization May Be Engaging in Rainbow Washing — And How You Can Engage in Sustained Action Authentically

Image Description: A grid of rainbow corporate logos, including LinkedIn, Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, and others.. Source: Reddit.

Understanding rainbow washing

5 ways to tell if you’re rainbow washing during Pride

So, what can you do to engage in real sustained action?

1. Engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training

  • Common language: Explaining new terms so everyone understands what’s being talked about.
  • Space to share: Everyone needs the opportunity to share their experiences.
  • Space to ask “silly” questions: Sometimes the only way someone knows how to ask a question is by fumbling. That’s fine. That’s what these spaces are for.
  • Space to decompress: There is a lot in the DEI world to learn. It won’t happen all at once, nor should you be expected to learn it and have it committed to memory instantly.

2. Learn from the community

  • Experience talks: This is when someone from the community with lived experience and expertise in 2SLGBTQIA+ issues shares more about what it’s like being in the queer community in certain industries. They may also weave in their own personal experiences to add more depth to the conversation.
  • Expertise talks: This is when you invite a speaker to talk on any business topic who happens to be a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. It’s a great way to diversify your speaker and educator set while also supporting business goals.
  • The 519 is a 2SLGBTQIA+ community hub offering speaking services.
  • The Get Real Movement is a nonprofit organization that offers leadership talks, panels, and afterschool education programs in the community.
  • QMUNITY is a 2SLGBTQIA+ community hub. Their team is available for panels, events & speaking engagements.

3. Make a product and donate the proceeds

4. Review company policies and benefits

  • Non-discrimination policies that explicitly include gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
  • Parental leaves that are inclusive of queer couples, non-birthing parents, and adoptive parents.
  • Trans-affirming healthcare coverage.
  • Broader mental health benefits (this benefits everyone, not just 2SLGBTQIA+ employees!).

5. Audit compensation for equality

6. Use your voice

7. Put your money where your mouth is

  • Sponsor a 2SLGBTQIA+ nonprofit.
  • Use the money to pay employees to volunteer with 2SLGBTQIA+ nonprofits or charities.
  • Set up a 2SLGBTQIA+ mentoring or community program supported by your organization.
  • Support 2SLGBTQIA+ owned businesses if you’re looking to purchase products. Our favourite places are imenoughshop.com and Flamingo Market.

Pride is about progress



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