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Jasmin Geissen
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Jasmin Geissen
June 10, 2024
June 10, 2024

Celebrating Pride Month: How to plan authentic events and activities

How can you plan events and celebrations that go beyond performative gestures? Notes from the group-led discussion at CodeBase’s LGBTQ+ meetup.

Happy Pride Month! Every June, Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ+ communities all around the world, commemorating the Stonewall riots. 

What does this mean for your company, and for celebrating your LGBTQ+ community members? If your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives are meant to be authentic, you might wonder how to ensure that your celebrations go beyond mere performative gestures. In a world where inclusivity is often reduced to mere lip service, it's crucial to elevate our approach and ensure authenticity is engrained in everything we do. 

CodeBase,  the company delivering the Techscaler programme, has a monthly LGBTQ+ meetup, which was created as a space for queer people and allies working in the Scottish Tech Ecosystem to meet and discuss how we can make our spaces more inclusive to queer individuals. 

The last meetup was all about Pride event planning, organised by CodeBase’s Sarah Hall. Drawing from their insightful notes from the group-led discussion, here are some essential tips for creating meaningful and impactful Pride events in your company:

Involve your team

When planning a Pride event, start by consulting with queer identifying people in your teams. What would they like to see and how would they like Pride events to be run? Make sure that involving your team members is on a voluntary basis, and that they are compensated for their time (i.e. if their advice is given during working hours, take other workload off them to ensure they have the capacity to support Pride planning). 

Colleague-led strategies are generally more authentic, and it’s important that there is a culture in place in which employees don’t have to fight a business case to run a campaign or event. 

Consider your audience

Be mindful of your audience. Determine if your event is open to everyone (e.g. educational events, experience-sharing panels) or if it’s a closed event, such as queer mixers or support groups, which are based on conscious exclusion.

Types of events and activities

Educational Events:

Educational events are a great way of building awareness. Bringing in external experts can attract more participants and foster open conversations. Any training-based events should be interactive, tell a story, and finish with a call to action.

Fun activities:

Pride events can be light touch, such as crafternoons (e.g. making banners and outfits for Pride), or organising an unofficial group to go to Pride marches.

Diverse Speakers

If you’re hosting an event - whether it’s for Pride Month or for any occasions - having a variety of speakers is important. A single person’s perspective is not enough to give a full picture, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ identities. 

If it’s appropriate for the event, consider hiring a speaker based on their experience, or their research. 

Year-Round Support

June is only one month, and it’s important to support the LGBTQ+ community all year round. Don’t just jump on the trend of celebrating Pride Month; engage in activities and events throughout the year to demonstrate consistent and genuine commitment. 

Join LGBTQ+ events at CodeBase! 

CodeBase’s monthly LGBTQ+ meetups are open to everyone in both the LGBTQ+ community & the tech ecosystem. The meetups are usually held at CodeBase Edinburgh with the option to join online.

This month, you can join the Queer in Tech Mixer (June 21) at CodeBase Edinburgh, for an evening of networking and collaboration as we recognise the incredible contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals in the tech industry. > Register here 

Also, this month’s neurodiversity meetup (June 13) will be a Pride special, exploring the intersection of the LGBTQ+ & Neurodivergent communities. > Register here

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