For more than 50 years now, in June and July the LGBTQ+ community worldwide publicly celebrates PRIDE in the form of parades, protests and parties with shimmering flags, colorful costumes and loud music. In this way, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies set an example in highlighting diversity and individualism while demanding full equality and social acceptance for queer people. There is a lot of catching up to do in this area, not only with regard to the LGTBQ+ community, but also the Black Lives Matter movement and many others.
Numerous examples show that it is important to keep drawing attention to such discriminatory acts. In some areas this has worked quite well so far. Due to the tireless fight of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, a lot has been achieved in recent years: In Germany, for example, the long-awaited “Marriage for All”, which completely equates marriage of both traditional and same-sex relationships, was implemented in June 2017. And just a few weeks ago, conversion therapies that are supposed to ‘cure’ homosexuality were prohibited by law for persons under the age of 18.
The long road to equality
Minorities and structurally disadvantaged societal groups have long been fighting for recognition and equal rights. Be it the LGBTQ+ community that started the annual PRIDE protests with the Stonewall ‘Riots’ and the subsequent protests in 1969, the women’s rights movement or most recently the Black Lives Matter movement – the demands are simple: social acceptance and full equality for all. Because of these movements we are able to live in a more inclusive society with a better understanding of tolerance and equality. But do not let the successes blind you from the fact that even today too many people are still disadvantaged. Just think of the stigmatization of HIV-infected people, the continuing ban on blood donation for homosexuals or the lack of social acceptance of transgender and intersexual people. Unfortunately, structural racism is still entrenched in wide parts of our society. And so the fight continues!
Together We Stand Strong
In these special times, everything is different, including PRIDE Month. Due to the Corona Pandemic there will be no or lesser-visited public PRIDE parades and demonstrations – some of them, such as the Berlin Pride, will be fully digital. Therefore, the advocacy of diversity and social acceptance of all genders and sexual orientations is maybe more important than ever this year – be it the sexual orientation, origin or skin color. There is a need for increased visibility and a broader social discourse on all diversity issues. As a society and as a companies with an audience, we must show our flags.
Corporate Social Responsibility is getting even more relevant
The social demands for more diversity, equal rights and acceptance of different ways of life also apply for companies. More and more employees and consumers expect a clear positioning on topics such as diversity. When it comes to LGTBQ+, IKEA is setting a good example by selling its iconic blue FRAKTA carrier bag as a Rainbow edition and donating 100 percent of the profits to organizations that support LGBTQ+ rights. Brands like Levi’s or H&M also donate a portion of the profits from their PRIDE collections to such organizations. Unfortunately, there are also companies that only want to profit from LGBTQ+ (pinkwashing), for example by launching new PRIDE collections every year without making any noticeable contributions towards more diversity.
Individuality and uniqueness are welcome here
Although sexual orientation and gender identity are clearly private matters, they still too often become a target of attack in the work environment. In the USA, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that discrimination against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation is illegal. In Germany, the General Equal Treatment Act protests employees from discrimination in the workplace since almost 14 years. This legal basis forms the cornerstone for a working environment characterized by diversity and equal treatment.
In our corporate DNA, diversity is a core value that we take serious. We are convinced that the best results can only be achieved with diverse and multifaceted teams. PIABO brings together people from a wide range of disciplines and cultures and from a variety of professional and private backgrounds. We share experiences and support each other. Individual interests, strengths and also weaknesses have their place at PIABO – this creates an environment in which we enjoy working. We are proud of our team members and the results their shared work brings.
Pride is more than just a feeling. Pride is a stance.
We are PRIDE!