People often ask why we still need pride events: in truth, it’s because there’s still work to be done. Pride week is both about celebrating the successes, but also highlighting areas which still need a bit of work.
Supporting LGBT+ colleagues is much more than a 7-day ‘commitment’ or event, (or even 30 days in the case of Pride Month). It’s a start, but what about the other 358 days? How do you keep the conversation going? When we set out a few months ago to celebrate Pride Week, we had always spoken of it as a launch event for our broader ideas: a perfect stage and ‘space opener’ to say “here we are, and this is what we plan to do”.
It worked. People are talking. The variety of speakers that we had in Pride Week offered a fantastic new perspective around issues which are easily forgotten (or perhaps are yet to be identified). We had the author of ‘We’re Queer & We Should Be Here’, Darryl Telles come in and speak about his experiences as a queer football fan. His stories recount the progress of the football crowds: from not being able to say the word ‘gay’ in a football stadium through fear, to today where a rainbow flag is proudly flown at many of the Tottenham Hotspur games. We had GayTimes visit and talk about the importance of LGBT+ inclusivity and diversity, as well as media representation. The concept of LGBT+ inclusion as a continuous responsibility was quantified in the session and resonated quite strongly. We were extremely lucky to have our clients come in and speak about the work that they are doing in the space, it’s inspiring to see some of the biggest brands in the UK truly embracing the LGBT+ community and not falling fowl to the notion of ‘rainbow washing’. Essentially, these are the brands ‘walking the walk’ and ‘talking the talk’: consumers are becoming increasingly aware of brands which ‘claim’ the rainbow and don’t support their LGBT+ employees. Other events included a networking event and a film screening.
Thirty MediaCommers joined other GroupM agencies within the PrideM network to march and show our support at Pride in London. With temperatures of almost thirty degrees, the team had a fantastic day celebrating the rich tapestry of diversity and standing in solidarity, highlighting why #PrideMatters to MediaCom.
We are lucky to be working in a diverse and inclusive environment but this week has set the stage for us to be able to do more.