Sign in

Rainbow-Washing: How to Support Queer Employees During All 12 Months

Abhi kokitkar
Rainbow-Washing: How to Support Queer Employees During All 12 Months

This year, I found myself looking at the Process Street LinkedIn page, now sporting a rainbow logo, and contemplating how I felt about that.

Is it rainbow-washing? What else does Process Street do to support the queer community? Why can’t I answer that question?

I don’t think it’s rainbow-washing, but I should definitely be aware of what the company I work for is doing for the queer community.

I have complicated feelings about Pride. On one hand, I do believe in the immense importance it has. Pride creates a platform for big-picture political actions as well as the more personal experience of just not being in the minority for once. 

As more companies paint rainbows on their marketing materials from June 1 to June 30, it’s equally become more about commodification than community. 

I see you sweating as you glance at all your packed-up Pride material in the corner. You just wanted to show your support. What does rainbow-washing even mean? 

How do startups and small businesses show their allyship is genuine and not just part of a marketing campaign? 

There are no simple answers to any of this, but there’s only so much room in a blog post, so I’ll give you some actionable things you can do throughout the year to keep up your support long after Pride month is over.

  • What is rainbow-washing?
  • Allyship 101: Taking pride in Pride
  • Back to the beginning
  • Further resources

What is rainbow-washing?

Rainbow-washing is the capitalization of support for queer equality with the minimum effort possible.

This includes adding rainbows to logos, merchandise, ads, buildings, and pretty much anything you can think of from Skittles to Whoppers (no, seriously).

Does this mean that every company that flies the rainbow flag for Pride is guilty of rainbow-washing?

Nope, it does not. It’s actually great when companies – big corporations and small businesses – publicly support social issues – if they walk the walk. 

That comes down to year-round support of the queer community in whatever way is appropriate and feasible for your organization. This might look like donating a percentage of the profits from Pride merchandise to LGBTQ organizations like the Trevor Project or making sure your work environment is a safe space for your employees.

Read Full Article...

Abhi kokitkar
Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more