Rainbow washing - How to avoid it and be a true Pride ally

June 7, 2023
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Unless this is your first Remotify newsletter, you’ll know that we advocate for all kinds of diversity, not just for the sake of it, but because diversity of thought has an unquestionably positive effect on business and company culture. That’s why, this Pride Month, we want to dig down into what makes a true ally in the world of work, and how companies can make sure they’re not falling into the trap of “rainbow washing”. 

Similar to the issue of greenwashing, which we’ve discussed in a previous newsletter, rainbow washing refers to verbally supporting LGBTQ+ rights, without following up with proper action or creating an environment that is safe and supportive for employees that identify this way. These days, corporations know that LGBTQ+ support sells—both in brand loyalty, but also for a company’s bottom line. It’s an attractive pull, but if done for disingenuous reasons, it can cause irreversible damage to a company’s reputation.  

The solution is a simple one, however. It’s to be a true ally. 

So, what does this mean in practice? Well, it means that you don’t, as a company, say one thing and do another. It is not a wise decision, for example, to rebrand in rainbow colours for Pride Month if your company has failed to hire any LGBTQ+ employees, or has made no offer of support or donations to relevant causes or charities. It’s very easy to change the colour of a logo. It’s much harder to confront and reform potential hiring biases. 

Being a good LGBTQ+ ally means creating an environment that has zero tolerance for hate speech, and one that consistently makes its LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable and supported. It’s also worth understanding that no one is beyond learning. Even if people feel that they are an ally, they may still say or do things that are considered inappropriate. Learning and growth are constant, and a good company will make sure their employees have regular training sessions on culture and diversity so that there can be no mistaking what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviours. 

Lastly, diversity breeds diversity! And diversity makes everyone feel more at ease. If you’re looking into your hiring biases, don’t simply stop at LGBTQ+ talent. Make sure you’re also hiring people of colour, and people of different genders, ages and religions. Make sure you’re hiring neurodiverse and disabled people. With the influence of remote work, there is truly no end to the pool of people you can enrich your teams with. 

From all of us here at Remotify, we wish you an amazing Pride Month! 

If you’d like to see how switching to a remote work model can open up and diversify your talent options, give us a call. We’d be happy to get you set up and start building your dream team!  

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