Is Your Franchise Celebrating Pride Month?

June 2022 is being celebrated in Canada and across the world as Pride Month. It is being used as an opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQ+ communities and diversity in general, acknowledging the hardships they have endured throughout history, celebrating how things have progressed and continuing to pledge to deliver improvements in diversity and acceptance.

Is your franchise, or are you as a franchisee, doing anything to celebrate Pride Month? Many businesses have added the rainbow background to their social media profile pictures and others are pushing particular products and services, with the profits from them being donated to non-profit organizations aimed at improving inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.

Whilst these are positive steps, it must be remembered that over the years, many businesses have attracted criticism for making supportive statements of the LGBTQ+ community without taking any real action. Although there are many ways in which franchises can help drive forward improvements in diversity, it is what you do beyond this month that is really important.

What is your hiring strategy? Do you have any LGBTQ+ staff on your payroll? Do you actively seek to hire and support staff who identify as LGBTQ+? If so, make sure people know about it; your job ads when they launch should use inclusive language and your LGBTQ+ staff should be recognized and rewarded exactly the same as your heterosexual staff. After all, their gender identity does not affect the way that they carry out their duties.

Have you made sure that your stores or offices are welcoming, inclusive and safe for everyone? It is important that internal policies and procedures are totally inclusive. If you have any concerns about whether your signage, staff education programs or other HR strategies are appropriate, seek specialist advice in order to make sure that your franchise is accepting and welcoming of all of your employees and customers.

To be taken seriously, businesses have to prove that their support is genuine by taking positive action, advocating on behalf of staff members that identify as LGBTQ+, providing mentoring opportunities, and finding other ways in which to use their corporate reach to promote positive change.

Canada is already very forward-thinking in terms of its diversity and inclusion policies, and as a tourism hotspot, most people are already very comfortable with cultural diversity. That means that bringing this acceptance to the workplace is just the extra step needed to ensure that the entire community is represented in its businesses.