For the past couple of years, we’ve changed our logos on social media for Pride Month in June. So, why didn’t we do it this year?
With increasing awareness and discussion around the concept of “rainbow washing,” this year for Pride month we took a pause to think about where our efforts would have the most impact. After thoughtful consideration, we chose not to update our logo, and instead focus on the experiences our people have, create awareness around identities, and highlight the culture at BenchSci. For us, success beyond success means that not only are we doing right by our team members internally we’re also building foundations with the communities around us. We know we have an opportunity to make a greater impact beyond changing our logo. This year we focused on holding space and having conversations.
Thoughts from the team
We asked a number of our team members who identify as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community about what Pride means to them, both at work and in the world.
Continuing the Conversation
To keep the conversation going we started a 2SLGBTQIA+ Slack channel called #chatter-rainbow. The channel is meant to be a place to develop community and connection for our 2SLGBTQIA+ team members and allies: from promoting Pride events in our local communities and beyond to creating a safe space for chatter and connection year-round. So far, our team has come together to crowdsource Pride events and share tips for 2SLGBTQIA+ friendly travel.
To wrap up June, we hosted an event in partnership with Collective called From Work to Werq: What a Little Bit of Glitter and a Lot of Courage Taught Me About Thriving at Work. We welcomed Alfredo Del Cid, their Head of Learning and Development, who shared their personal journey in navigating work-related trauma to find support, care, and acceptance within an inclusive company culture.
"One of the signs that an individual is committed to growing is their ability to enter a conversation with an open mind and open heart,” shared Alfredo. “The audience from BenchSci demonstrated these qualities by practicing honesty and vulnerability through their comments and questions."
I want to give my sincere thanks to Alfredo for opening up the conversation with our team. As a group, we reflected on how our actions can signal safety or harm to others, and reviewed concrete strategies for supporting our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues. These are just some of the takeaways that really resonated with our team:
- We all have biases - Our goal is to disrupt biases but the reality is we all have them. If you have a brain you have bias.
- Call people what they want and HOW they want to be called - Our assumptions can lead us to unintentionally put people in boxes and be less inclusive. If you aren’t certain, then ask and respect the answer.
- Be your full self - Identify what you need from your coworkers and colleague to show up as your full self at work. Sometimes you need to let others surprise you.
- DEI is a practice - DEI work is ongoing and nothing is ever perfect. That doesn’t mean you’re dropping accountability or ignoring an issue if you are prioritizing another one.
- When mistakes happen, meaningful accountability is needed - Meaningful accountability means having humility, taking feedback, and showing that you are trying to do better.
- You have a responsibility to make people do better, not feel better - Direct confrontation can be healthy and good, especially when it invites people to do their homework and learn. Having boundaries around which questions you are willing to answer and which ones you aren’t is important.
While the month is over, our conversations and celebrations will continue. We will talk to one another in both formal and informal ways, and celebrate the uniqueness of our team members throughout the year. As July is Disability Pride Month, we continue to be excited about celebrating the identities at BenchSci and beyond by applying an intersectional lens to our commemorative months and days of awareness.
What has your organization done for Pride? Do you like seeing companies change their logos during June or not? Share your thoughts in the comments below and subscribe to our blog for all the latest BenchSci news and events.