Market access update

LGBTQ+ History Month in the workplace

The importance of making time in the workplace to listen, recognize, and celebrate during LGBTQ+ History Month.

This update explains why we make time to listen, recognize, and celebrate during LGBTQ+ History Month, shares how we are becoming stronger allies to colleagues who are transgender, and offers four LGBTQ+ History Month workplace activities that you may want to try.

What is LGBTQ+ History Month?

LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and non-binary (LGBTQ+) history. It’s also an opportunity to recognize the lives and achievements of those who have contributed to the progression of LGBTQ+ movements around the world and continue to do so.

“Having access to the history of people like yourself is essential for both individual mental health and happiness but also for political and social emancipation.” Christine Burns, MBE author of “Trans Britain”.

During LGBTQ+ History Month we encourage colleagues to learn about some of the people, places, events, and symbols that are a part of LGBTQ+ history by sharing external resources like these:

  • “Voices and Visibility”: uncovering hidden histories through an interactive wallchart of images and recordings
  • “31 Days. 31 Icons”: films that celebrate the achievements of pioneers in LGBTQ+ history
  • “Prejudice and Pride”: podcasts exploring historical landmarks and homes of people who challenged and shaped ideas of gender and sexuality
  • “Top books for LGBTQ+ History Month”: the Story of the LGBTQ+ Equality Movement and other great reads.

Why it is important to recognize LGBTQ+ History Month in our workplaces

We believe that amazing things are possible when diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are woven into workplace culture, and LGBTQ+ History Month is a special time to introduce new DE&I activities and celebrate our colleagues.

PRMA Consulting is a member of Fishawack Health and together we are proud of the diversity of our teams. They are empowered to be their best and bring their unique value to our broad range of market access clients. Inclusion drives better individual and organizational outcomes, and we are committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment where our colleagues can bring their whole selves to work.

However, in many organizations, significant numbers of people who are LGBTQ+ fear unconscious bias and discrimination so they conceal aspects of their lives at work. This concealment can come at great personal cost, with some workers experiencing isolation, invisibility, and mental health challenges.

A report by Stonewall1 found that this is especially true for people who are transgender: 65% of respondents who are transgender said they didn’t feel confident disclosing their identity at work, while others reported particularly high levels of workplace discrimination and harassment.

To learn more, colleagues from across the business joined a webinar discussion with Sophie Cook.2 Listening to Sophie’s experience, we heard how a moment’s insensitivity at work can trigger deep personal pain for a person who is transgender.

“In the UK it is estimated that 5% of the population are in some way on the transgender spectrum,” said Sophie, “and this figure is increasing year on year as societal changes make trans people feel safer expressing the different aspects of their identity. These people will be amongst your staff and your clients. All businesses must ensure that their staff are, and know how to be, a good ally to transgender people in the workplace, both as colleagues and as customers.”

Throughout LGBTQ+ History Month and beyond, there are many opportunities to come together to hear the experiences of pioneers like Sophie. Not only does this create a shared moment of understanding and celebration within organizations, but it also helps employees to reflect, challenge, and change their own thoughts and behaviors.

“All too often, LGBTQ+ history is erased or overlooked. It’s important for us to come together this month to highlight our history and celebrate the lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people that have made incredible contributions across society.” Emeritus Sue Sanders, Harvey Milk Institute

Four workplace activities for LGBTQ+ History Month and beyond

LGBTQ+ History Month is a great time for organizations to revisit and strengthen their initiatives, and to continue to develop inclusive and supportive environments for employees who are LGBTQ+. Here are four workplace activities you may want to try:

  1. Share information about LGBTQ+ History Month
    Display posters and leaflets or send links to podcasts so that colleagues can listen to the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ pioneers.

  2. Organize training for your team
    Webinars tailored to your business needs are available from expert speakers, such as this transgender awareness training from Sophie Cook.

  3. Fundraise for local charities
    Quizzes and coffee-mornings are often popular ways to get together virtually or in-person and raise funds. Here are some more ideas from Stonewall.

  4. Remind colleagues of your company diversity, equity, and inclusivity policies and values.
    This will help reinforce that the business and its leaders are committed to providing and continually developing a diverse and supportive workplace with ways of working that are fair, impartial, and provide the possibility of equal outcomes for every individual.

If you try any of these activities or if your organization is recognizing LGBTQ+ History Month in other ways, we’d love to hear about it – please get in touch.


Further reading

1: Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2020. The UK’s leading benchmarking report for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. 

2: Sophie Cook. Listen to Sophie’s TED talk about diversity and inclusion. 

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