PRIDE month is over. The stickers and flags have come down. Social media posts have moved on.
But this is where the hard part comes in….
I teach martial arts in my spare time. We talk to the kids about lots of things: Focus, Respect, Confidence….
We explain to them Character is what you do when no one is looking.
Are you trying your best even when no one is looking?
Do you wait for mom and dad to tell you to pick things up or do you do it before they need to?
Are you keeping focus in school even when the teacher isn’t looking?
So now that PRIDE month is over… what is your company doing?
Are they funding the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group?
Does the Employee Resource Group have an executive sponsor?
Do senior executives show up at Diversity and Inclusion events?
Does the company offer health care for same sex spouses? What is their coverage for gender affirmation care? Trans rights?
Does the company email policy allow you to identify your pronouns?
Do senior leaders show their pronouns in emails?
No one is looking. There is no public watching. There are no public relations expectations. No ostensible requirement. No one is holding them to the fire to say the right things.
Are they doing the right things when the teacher is not looking?
It is simply character. Are they showing character?
So many companies don’t walk their talk on Diversity and Inclusion. The CEO gives a great speech on National Women’s Day and then does not do any pay equity studies. Senior leaders hold a town hall for Black history month and don’t do anything to adjust hiring practices. They write in the annual statement about the importance of Diversity and Inclusion but don’t fund employee Resource Groups. Senior leaders nod and say they support Diversity Equity and Inclusion but don’t show up at an event the rest of the year.
Are they behaving they way they say they do when no one is looking? Or are they rainbow washing? Just putting on a show for when the cameras are rolling. Talking and not walking. What is their character?
Well their actions answer that question. As Maya Angelou once said: “When people show you who they are the first time believe them.”
As always I hope this helps. I look forward to continuing the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
All the best,
Dave Terné (He/Him)