Dear ‘Pro-LGBT’ Companies,
Showing support for the LGBT community entails more than just including fancy words such as ‘inclusivity’ and ‘diversity’ in your carefully constructed PR statements.
In an age where politically correct words like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusivity’ are thrown around to the point of exhaustion, their ubiquity has pretty much eroded their meaning. While these words used to communicate an ideology, all they do now is bring out my inner cynic.
You see, nothing elevates a company’s branding quite as well as jumping on the pro-LGBT bandwagon does. So you can’t blame me for wondering if these ‘pro-LGBT’ companies genuinely believe in what they’re saying or if they’re just trying to curry favour with the LGBT crowd. In short, merely talking about how you support us no longer cuts it.
It’s time ‘pro-LGBT’ companies do more than just issue empty statements. We want to see concrete action that involves more than just talk. And if you’re not sure how to start practicing what you preach, here are 8 pro-LGBT companies that you can learn a lesson or two from.
1. Google: FIRST Pink Dot Corporate Sponsor Who Organises Pro-LGBT Events
Long before it became cool for companies to brand themselves as a Pink Dot sponsor, Google was the very FIRST company to take up the mantle back in 2011.
This global tech giant is a trail blazer in the international LGBT rights movement and it’s heartening to see that its Singapore branch is doing the same. Google Singapore has been at the forefront of the local LGBT rights movement, actively organising pro-LGBT events. One notable event it organised was #StandingOUT – a LGBT industry initiative for the tech and media industries.
2. Barclays: Launched A LGBT Employee Network
Barclays doesn’t just talk about diversity, they actually act on it too!
This global financial powerhouse established a LGBT employee network in 2011 called Spectrum. Its initial activities focused on promoting education and awareness but Spectrum has since branched out into other activities such as organising fundraising events. Spectrum’s network now comprises of up to 200 members in its Singapore office.
Barclays is also a proud sponsor of Pink Dot since 2012.
3. Cathay Singapore: Tried To File A Pro-Pink Dot Application Against MDA
A Pink Dot sponsor since 2015, Cathay Organisation showed its support for the LGBT community when they tried to file an application on 12th May 2015 with the Media Development Authority (MDA) to screen a promotional video for Pink Dot.
Their efforts unfortunately, were unsuccessful as MDA rejected their application but still, kudos to them for trying.
4. Goldman Sachs: Organises Diversity Networking Sessions
A leading provider of financial services, Goldman Sachs holds the virtue of diversity in high regard. As part of its mission to foster an inclusive and safe workplace, it has established diversity committees in each region and even produced a pro-LGBT corporate video.
A Pink Dot sponsor since 2014, Goldman Sachs has also held diversity networking sessions in Singapore before.
5. Marsh & McLennan Companies: Organiser of Allies Night
An international professional service firm based in New York, Marsh & McLennan Companies have fast established themselves as advocates of the LGBT community by organising Allies Night every month.
Launched in July 2015, this monthly LGBT networking event is attended by a diverse group of professionals from over 60 different companies. Held at The Exchange in the CBD, you can find out more about their next instalment here.
6. The Smart Local: Produces Content In Support Of The LGBT Community
A leading lifestyle portal that reaches over 2.5 million people each month, The Smart Local is one of the few mainstream media publications in Singapore who have no qualms about producing LGBT friendly content.
They wrote a guide to LGBT centric nightspots in 2015 and recently produced two videos on Pink Dot 2016; the first of which offers viewers a glimpse of how Pink Dot is like while the second video dived into the minds of Pink Dot attendees.
The Smart Local is also known for its safe and inclusive workplace culture.
7. Publicis Singapore: Appluads Its Employees For Being True To Themselves
Publicis Singapore is an advertising agency that was recently awarded the ‘Agency of the Year’.
When Nicholas Lim, who works as an accounts director at Publicis Singapore came out through Dear Straight People, his colleagues, including the CEO of Publicis Singapore himself, all applauded him for his courage in coming out publicly. For that, we applaud Publicis for creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment.
8. Arup Singapore: Set up Singapore’s first LGBT network in the engineering industry
Part of the Arup Group which specialises in providing engineering and designing services, Arup Singapore launched Singapore’s FIRST LGBT diversity network in the engineering industry in 2013.
The inaugural event was held on the 1st of August from 6pm to 9pm and featured guest speakers from the Pink Dot organising committee who discussed ways on promoting inclusiveness in the workplace.
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