Speaker

How to ensure your company is a proactive ally for the LGBTQ+ community

June is officially Pride Month and a time in which we honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. This felt like the perfect time for us at CRKLR to reflect on how we are supporting our LGBTQ+ colleagues and clients and providing advice on how other companies can ensure they are true allies.

 

Representation in Leadership

As a female in marketing and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve had first-hand experience of what it means to be a gay female in business. We’ve come a long way in the last few decades, and even since the early 2000’s as a society, I’d like to think we’re actively more inclusive and accepting.

The importance of representation and visibility for lesbian leaders is vital and helps shape advocacy and leadership within companies. Companies play a pivotal role in promoting inclusivity and diversity. 35% of LGBTQ+ staff have hidden their sexuality at work for fear of discrimination and 12% of trans people have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues because of being trans (Stonewall).

Companies have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are accepted, supported and celebrated. So how can you, as a company, help to ensure you are truly embracing diversity across the workplace? Here are some pieces of practical advice your organisation can look to implement.

 

  • Training and education:

Do your training resources include programmes specifically to address inclusivity and LGBTQ+ biases? Ensure this is the case and you’re proactively providing resources for employees so they can educate themselves about LGBTQ+ history, terminology and best practices for inclusion.

  • Inclusive policies:

Offer comprehensive healthcare benefits that cover gender-affirming procedures and mental health support. Make sure you are providing equal opportunities for career advancement and professional development regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Support LGBTQ+ families by providing benefits that cover same-sex partners and children.

  • Diverse leadership:

If your leadership team are all suspiciously similar to one another in gender, race, sexuality, you might want to rethink this so that LGBTQ+ people have a seat at the table. Everything filters from the top, so without these people in your leadership team, it’s unlikely that the rest of the company is living and breathing diversity.

  • Zero tolerance:

Ensure you have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. By providing clear channels for reporting discrimination, this will ensure that complaints are taken seriously and proactively addressed.

 

Marketing to engage with the LGBTQ+ community


If you are a brand looking to engage with a more diverse audience, it’s important to ensure your strategy here is a thoughtful and inclusive one that will truly appeal to your target market. We’ve collated some key considerations to ensure that your marketing efforts towards the LGBTQ+ community are respectful and authentic.

  • Consistency – If your brand content features only straight white males currently (or another group), you need to have a look at your overall diversity strategy. Avoid exploiting stereotypical themes to appear progressive. Your commitment should be evident through consistent and long-term efforts. As well as consistency in your marketing, you also must consider genuine representation.

 

  • Marketing Channels – Once you’ve nailed your content strategy, understanding where your target audience are is the first step in reaching them effectively. Consider trying platforms that are popular within the LGBTQ+ community if this resonates with your brand or product. Some of the top publishers and platforms we would recommend to engage with this audience might include:

    • LGBTQ+ dating apps such as HER and Grindr. Advertising on these dating apps, if they align with your brand, can be lucrative, if done in the right way.

    • Social media platforms. Instagram and TikTok allow you to tap into LGBTQ+ specific creators and communities with trend and hashtag data.

    • Queer online publications such as Diva, Attitude and Pink News are ways you can reach your community advertising here.

 

  • Collaborate with influencers – Look for LGBTQ+ collaborators and influencers who align with your brand values and can authentically advocate for your products or services. Here, you can mutually benefit from these partnerships, and also educate your audience by allowing LGBTQ+ influencers to share their lived experiences and provide personal stories.

    • For beauty brands: Munroe Bergdorf – the first transgender model in the UK for L’Oreal and an activist for Trans Rights.
    • For home brands: ‘The Home Boys’ – Andrew & David Harrison-Colley share their home interiors, DIY and styling.
    • For lifestyle brands:What Wegan Did Next’ – Two wives sharing their lives online; travel, fashion, and their personal IVF journey.
    • For food brands:Fat Gay Vegan’ – Will shares the best vegan food, predominantly around London, whilst also talking about his experience being LGBTQ+.

 

  • Tone of Voice – Content is key, always. Ensure the content you’re creating and promoting focuses on positive, empowering messages that resonate with the LGBTQ+ community. People want to see themselves in marketing and doing this in a truly inclusive way where they are represented fully, is super important.

 

It’s important to consider these practices all year round, not only as part of LGBTQ+ History Month. But now is a great time to start and ensure your company is contributing positively to the LGBTQ+ community.

At CRKLR, we welcome people from all walks of life and have a team here who celebrate being part of a diverse culture. Based in Hove, some of us will be celebrating at Brighton Pride in August… we hope to see you there!

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