6 tips for LGBTI organisations partnering alongside a business in Pride season

Credit: Zackary Drucker and Alyza Enriquez, The Gender Spectrum Collection

“We cannot deny the influence of the private sector in our societies,” says Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, in our latest Frontline podcast mini-series exploring the challenges and opportunities that come with businesses supporting LGBTI equality. “They have access to power in a way we don’t. We need to build bridges.”

Many businesses are seeing the benefits of LGBTI inclusion both internally and externally, from market reputation to talent attraction and employee motivation. For many LGBTI activists at home with addressing policy-makers and providing services to communities, working with the private sector may be an unknown arena, even raising eyebrows.

However, a partnership can be “incredibly mutually beneficial” for both sides, says Nancy Kelley, Stonewall’s Chief Executive. “Companies can learn how to be better employers, better suppliers to consumers, as well as to be supportive to communities. And for civil society organisations it is an opportunity to access powerful supporters and to access funding they wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Furthermore, companies can reach broader audiences and have an effective impact on public opinion. This is especially relevant when LGBTI rights are at risk. One example is this advertisement campaign in which Mermaids collaborated with Starbucks in which a trans teenager hears their chosen name for the first time at the coffee retailer.

Here are key tips for LGBTI organisations partnering alongside a business that may be particularly useful in Pride season:

1.Before agreeing on a partnership, assess whether your values align and what the motivations of the company are. Find out if they have an authentic approach towards LGBTI equality by looking for key indicators:

  • Strong support from leadership in implementing LGBTI inclusive policies and practices in the workplace.
  • Supporting LGBTI equality is seen as a long-term, sustained and well-funded effort. A sign of this vision could be training programs on inclusion and diversity.

2. Make a holistic appraisal of your potential partner. Beyond LGBTI equality, look at their approach towards the environment and labour rights, including their supply chain, and any issue that matters to you.

3. Engage with the LGBTI employees of your business partner.

4. Companies can support you in a range of ways. In addition to funding, other resources companies can provide include pro bono support and advice or goods and services in-kind.

5. Be clear about your objectives, what you can and can’t offer, and ensure that the partnership is balanced in term of outcomes.

6. Make sure both parties are clear about the objectives, obligations, deliverables and timeline of the partnership in a written agreement.

Do you want to know more? Stonewall has useful advice for you.

--

--

--

We are a driving force for political, legal and social change with over 600 member organisations in Europe and Central Asia.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Point of No Return

The LGBTQ Post-Election Pain

The Tragedy Surrounding Jamaica’s ‘Face of Pride’

Lifestyle?

Somewhere Beyond the Rainbow

The Media’s Punching Bag: Loving Yourself While Transfemme

4/28/2022

Title: Why are y’all gagging

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
ILGA-Europe

ILGA-Europe

We are a driving force for political, legal and social change with over 600 member organisations in Europe and Central Asia.

More from Medium

The Value of Literature and the Arts is in the Interpretation

Southern Thunder, Through The Eye Of The Storm

How digital can give us purpose

Letter of support for #KeepSJSUHybrid

A close-up image of Michele holding a star shaped pink pin that says “Suck it Ableism.” Michele is wearing a pastel mask, has gray hair and is pointing to the pin.