Pride Month is upon us, the annual celebration in June that honors the LGBTQ+ community, recognizing their history, achievements, and contributions. Pride Month, while often known for its celebratory parties and parades, is about so much more. It is a profound celebration of LGBTQ+ identity, resilience, and community. Beyond the festive events, Pride Month is a time for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies – personal and corporate – to celebrate diversity, advocate for equal rights, and reflect on the progress made toward social justice and the work that still needs to be done.

What is Pride?

Pride Month is called so because it commemorates the pride and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. The term “Pride” represents the self affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people. The celebration is held in June to honor the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in June 1969. These riots were a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and globally.

The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. This event is widely considered to be the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. This is humorously, but poignantly reflected in the popular t-shirt that reads “the first Pride was a riot.”

The Pride flag, also known as the rainbow flag, is a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride and social movements. Originally designed by artist and activist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the flag features six vibrant stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.  Fun fact: the original design had two more colors that were dropped for simplicity. Turquoise and indigo were replaced with royal blue, and hot pink was dropped due to the unavailability of hot pink fabric.

The Pride flag continues to evolve, reflecting the growing understanding and inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ community. It remains a powerful symbol of unity and the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. In 2018, the Progress Pride Flag was introduced, incorporating earlier  additions of black and brown stripes to represent people of color and adding the light blue, pink, and white colors of the transgender flag in a chevron shape on the left side. This design aims to emphasize inclusion and progress.

Why do Companies Support Pride?

Companies support Pride Month for several reasons, combining social responsibility and business interests. Supporting Pride Month demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion, fostering a welcoming environment for employees and customers of all backgrounds. Many companies view this support as part of their broader corporate social responsibility initiatives, showing that they care about social issues and are dedicated to positive change.

This support also boosts morale and engagement among LGBTQ+ employees, who feel valued and respected in an inclusive workplace. Plus, it’s simply good business: Research shows that companies with supportive LGBTQ+ policies can lead to better results and enhanced competitiveness in the marketplace.

Why is Diversity Important for Tech Companies?

The best way to build an agile business that can weather inevitable market and technology changes is to encourage diversity of thought, and the easiest way to build that is to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and create an environment where they can voice their opinions to contribute new approaches. Groupthink is when group members gradually adopt the same beliefs and ways of thinking, leading to conformity, resistance to change, and the rejection of risks. Many business failures stem from groupthink, as companies align too narrowly, ignore emerging competition, and reinforce their own views. Examples include the soft drink industry dismissing bottled water, Blackberry underestimating the iPhone, and the ice shipping industry rejecting ice-making machines.

Even just having someone challenge preconceived notions can help make a business plan more sound. With highly diverse teams, contrary opinions will be more commonly voiced, helping break the myopia of groupthink and enabling great ideas to turn into great products that meet and adapt to market needs of today and tomorrow.

Pride Month is a time of celebration, reflection, and advocacy. It honors the resilience and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community while emphasizing the ongoing need for social justice and equality. Companies that support Pride Month demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion, benefiting both their employees and their brand. Embracing diversity, particularly in the tech industry, fosters innovation and adaptability, helping businesses thrive in a constantly changing market. As we celebrate Pride Month, let’s remember its deeper significance and continue to strive for a world where everyone is valued and accepted for who they are.

Pride at WEKA

We are celebrating Pride month across the globe at WEKA.

Our LGBTQIA+ employee group “Alphabet Soup” – because we cover all the letters – has representatives in Korea, Israel, France, and the US. In addition to our logo “takeover” with Pride colors that you may have seen, we are highlighting on our social channels community tech leaders who have driven both technology and innovation forward. We are also facilitating seminars on what gender inclusive language is and how it promotes equality, respects individual identities, and fosters an inclusive environment for all genders at work. There are many Pride events going on right now and over the next few months across the globe. We encourage you to be an ally and attend one and share in the celebration and commemoration.

Happy Pride!

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