Pride Beyond the Surface
Pride is not a weak thing; it’s an everyday feeling of self-acceptance and embracing diversity. In many Calgary businesses, rainbow flags are proudly displayed during Pride week, but what do these flags truly represent? Is it a genuine commitment to creating a safe and inclusive workspace, or is it merely an empty gesture? A Calgary woman, Shilpa Singh, believes there’s a substantial difference between authentic corporate pride and what she calls “rainbow washing.”
Small Acts, Big Impact
Creating a safe and inclusive workspace goes beyond hanging a rainbow flag in the window. Singh emphasizes that it’s the combination of numerous small actions that truly make a difference. These actions can include:
- Pronoun Pins: Simple gestures like employees wearing pronoun pins to work can help create an environment where everyone’s gender identity is respected.
- Visible Pride Flags: Having a visible pride flag is a way of showing support, but it’s just the beginning.
- Educational LGBT Events: Hosting educational events throughout the year, not just during Pride week, can help raise awareness and understanding.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Singh, who moved to Calgary from India five years ago to study at the Haskayne School of Business, understands the profound impact of a welcoming environment. She explains that coming from a country where she couldn’t openly express her identity, moving to Canada felt like a breath of fresh air.
Consistency and Allyship
Corporate pride should not be limited to one week a year. Singh argues that it’s about consistency and allyship all year round. When individuals within a workplace actively support the LGBTQ+ community, it fosters a sense of empowerment and shared responsibility. It’s about people speaking up and getting involved in issues that may not directly affect them.
Beyond the Flag
While the display of Pride Flags is an important symbol of acknowledgment, Singh encourages businesses to go beyond symbolism. True inclusivity is demonstrated through actions and policies that ensure all employees, regardless of their background, feel valued, respected, and safe.
In conclusion, corporate pride should be about more than just hanging a rainbow flag. It’s a commitment to creating an inclusive workspace where everyone feels welcome and respected. While symbols like Pride Flags are a step in the right direction, it’s the everyday actions and allyship that truly define corporate pride in its most meaningful sense.