“It was back in the early 90’s that I started working with the LGBT+ community as one of the owners of Pride Magazine. Back then when I approached potential sponsors, I would usually be met with hostility and dismissiveness, hearing often that they “couldn’t possibly advertise in a Gay title because of the negative brand association.”
Fast forward 25 years, how things have changed! Now seemingly every major company on earth loves to associate with the LGBTQ community and even have team members in Human Resources and Marketing that focus specifically on it. Has our society suddenly become caring and enlightened? Or is this newfound attitude a cynical attempt by many companies to appease their stakeholders and sell more products or services attempting to pander to the LGBTQ with no depth or authenticity?
My view is that as a community and as consumers there should be more tools made available that show which businesses are sincere in their support as opposed to those that are not.
Often times businesses turn up at Pride events draped in all manner of Rainbow accouterments and profess their love and respect for the LGBTQ community only to disappear until the next Pride event on their schedule.
In a recent conversation between myself, the CEO of Pride 365, and Dennis Velco, the inspiration and driving force behind the OutBüro, we found that we were in total agreement that the following 3 points need to be in place for a company to be considered truly authentic supporters and worthy of the ongoing support, loyalty, and customers from the LGBTQ community.
- Does the organization treat its own LGBT+ staff with the same dignity and respect as everyone else?
- What is the quality of the organization’s product and customer care?
- How does the organization market to and communicate with the LGBTQ community?
At Pride365, we have developed a mechanism by which these corporate attitudes, beliefs, and strategies can be measured. The Pride365 Certification is conferred on companies who demonstrate these attitudes, allowing consumers to see clearly at a glance and have confidence in, which companies can be relied upon to value and support the LGBT+ community.
OutBüro compliments this work perfectly in that its platform enables staff to review their place of work using real-life experience to shine a light on what would otherwise be unseen with the intent that employers strive to improve.
Tools such as these are beginning to be increasingly available. What we need now is for each of us to spread the word so that we can mobilize as a community to give our loyalty to those businesses that are genuine in their support to their LGBTQ employees, customers, and clients 365 days of the year.”