This year, we’ve seen banks and financial brands support pride meaningfully by helping to highlight and showcase the vibrant LGBTQ community.
Often, but not always, this is a result of a terrific partnership between a client and its agency. At Vested, we frequently guide our clients to ensure their intentions around Pride– and diversity, equity and inclusion generally– are well-perceived.
What we do
We start by asking our clients about their reasons for supporting Pride. Sometimes it’s out of a personal connection or interest, or they could say that it’s just the right thing to do. Why do we ask? It’s important that our clients’ intentions are aligned with their brand.
Next, we help our clients find a cause to support in an impactful way. Organizations that focus on the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality are usually a good place to start. You can find the causes that Vesties supported this Pride here, here, here, and here.
We caution our clients against the dangers of performative allyship, or “rainbow washing,” where companies use a rainbow flag or LGBTQ+ imagery during Pride Month to promote their brand, services, and products to imply solidarity without actual support or benefit to the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBT community is savvy enough to know when a brand is putting on a show without any action behind it.
Finally, we devise a plan to help promote the initiative. While this might appear self-serving, the truth is that visibility matters. A study found that brands who supported issues publicly on social media were effective at encouraging their audiences to research further into issues and participate in public action.
But, it’s also important that our clients support queer people year round, not just during June.
Here are a couple of ways we encourage our clients to build more inclusive and welcoming spaces:
- Ask employees for their pronouns (never assume!) and include them in email signatures
- Diversify recruiting methods to attract LGBTQ+ candidates, especially queer, trans BIPOC
- Offer trans-friendly healthcare
- Provide support for fertility, surrogacy, or adoption
- Allow employees to take paid time off to volunteer (and to vote!)
- Create an employee resource group where colleagues can connect and feel supported