Pride coloured office building

Blog: Helping your firm to mark Pride

My first Pride march was in London in the summer of 1996. Back then, I knew little about investment management, and Pride was free and accessible to all. Walking through the streets with friends who’d travelled from all over the UK to take part, I remember feeling a bit like we were in a zoo; being observed as a sort of exotic curiosity.

Fast forward to today, I’ve spent 20+ years in investment management, and Pride is a much bigger and more established event with individuals and companies applying for the privilege of taking part. 

While marches are a key focal point, the marking and celebration of Pride runs through the entire month of June in the UK (and elsewhere) and as such there is a wider opportunity for firms to demonstrate their commitment to being a diverse and inclusive employer, and to support the LGBT+ community.

So how can you, as a member of your LGBT+ network, persuade your firm to invest in Pride? Having worked on this in 2019, these are my top tips.

  1. Know what you want to achieve. Before your approach your brand team or executive sponsor for support and resource, clearly lay out why marking Pride is important, what you believe it will achieve, how you propose to do it, and what resource and deliverables you think you’ll need – both people and budget. 
  2. Walk the walk. Don’t jump on the Pride float and claim to be inclusive by updating your logo to a rainbow version unless you can demonstrate you’ve got the credentials to do so. Social media can be a vitriolic place – make sure you can back up any claims your firm is going to make around LGBT+ inclusion.
  3. Bring the LGBT+ network on the journey. Once you’ve got your proposal in motion, don’t step back and leave it all to your brand team. There will be nuances in play, and expertise within the network that should be employed throughout the process – from the fit of a t-shirt, to the use of the rainbow colours, language and messaging. 
  4. Get your timing right. There’s a reason that Christmas advertising campaigns are filmed in summer. Make sure you kick off the Pride process at least six months before Pride – and if your annual budgets are set before then, align the start point to that. Creativity takes time and money. There will also be behind the scenes issues to deal with, from stakeholder approval to legal and contractual considerations before implementation can even begin. Don’t leave it until the month before! I speak from experience… 

Finally… don’t be afraid to start small. You may not get the resource you’d like the first time around. Do what you can, appreciate it, measure it, and come back the next year armed with feedback and a bigger proposal. 

Download our guide

For ideas on ways your firm could mark Pride month, download our guide here

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