Once upon a time, the term “lifestyle” only referred to what one ate for breakfast or how one wore their hair. Nowadays, it carries with it more meaning than ever. People are proud of who they are and want to share that with others—and that’s great news for you!
The LGBT+ community is one of the fastest-growing minority groups in America. If your business wants to stay competitive, you should invest in this community by sponsoring an event or becoming an ally yourself. Here’s how you can do this.
By making a conscious effort to diversify your team, you are inviting creative ideas, new perspectives, and solutions.
Diversity leads to better decision-making because there is a larger pool of information from which to draw. It also leads to better problem-solving because it encourages different thinking methods and increases perspectives on how they can be addressed. Diversity results in innovation by providing opportunities for all aspects of society (LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, and more) to contribute their ideas and insights. This is especially true if those who have historically been excluded from the business have finally been invited into the boardroom or other strategic planning sessions.
Be an ally
Being an ally is a choice and one that should be made with care. You can be an ally by donating time or money to organizations that work to end oppression and discrimination against marginalized people. You can also support the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in your workplace and community by reaching out to them when they need support, sitting back from making insensitive jokes about LGBTQ+ identities, and refraining from using slurs.
If you want to become even more involved in helping marginalized people, consider training as an Ally Trainer for your company or organization! This will allow you to help others understand what it means to be an ally for those who are different from yourself by teaching workshops on best practices for supporting equality at work.
Another example is by inviting a speaker for Black History Month. This will help your company or organization become more aware of the challenges faced by people of color and can also help create a space where conversations can happen about how best to support those affected by racism.
Be mindful of tone and language
To create a safe, accessible space for everyone, it’s essential to be mindful of your tone and language. This includes avoiding offensive language—which can consist of words like “lame” or “retarded,” as well as gender stereotypes (e.g., “real men don’t cry”). For example, the word “normal” can be offensive when used to describe a person who’s not LGBTQ+. The term can also be used to imply that those who are queer or trans are somehow abnormal. To avoid offending your audience, try using more inclusive language (e.g., “cisgender” instead of “normal”) or asking for suggestions from the surrounding people.
Be open to learning about other peoples’ experiences and how they identify themselves. Don’t assume that all people identify as either male or female. Consider asking them how they identify themselves instead of assuming based on their appearance. For example, “What pronouns do you use?” rather than “Are you a man/woman?”
Support LGBT+ businesses
If you’re looking for ways to support LGBT+ equality, one of the best things you can do is to support LGBT+ businesses. Supporting these businesses is an excellent way for business owners and employees to show their support for equality in the workplace and beyond. This also helps build up a community that is supportive of all people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, which will lead to more successful companies and happier employees overall.
In addition, supporting LGBT+ businesses can help them succeed as they face discrimination on an ongoing basis throughout society at large. For example, many people are still uncomfortable with same-sex relationships, so they may feel uncomfortable shopping at an LGBT+ business. This can be especially true if they have children who they don’t want to be exposed to such ideas. However, if you support these businesses as customers and clients, you help them succeed while ensuring they continue to exist.
Sponsor an event
When you sponsor an event, you’re giving back to the community. You’re also gaining visibility and helping to build your business’s reputation by associating it with positive social causes. Sponsorships can help get your brand in front of new customers, and they can highlight important issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Imagine how much more successful your business could be if you worked together to spread awareness about the need for change in your society. This is the best way to build a strong reputation and connect with customers with similar values.
For example, if you’re a company that cares about women’s rights, you could sponsor an event focused on empowering women or donate money to an organization that supports female entrepreneurs. You can also take part in community events like races and marathons—these are great opportunities to promote your brand while helping others achieve their goals.
Hopefully, this article has given insight into how business owners can advocate for awareness and equality. From encouraging diversity in their work environments to supporting LGBT+ businesses, business owners have many opportunities to make a difference in the world around them. By being an ally, advocating for your employees’ rights, and being mindful of how your tone and language might affect others, you can help create an equal society!