Allyship in the workplace

June has come around again, marking the start of Pride Month. We see companies fill their social media page with rainbow flags and pictures of Pride Marches. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate inclusivity in the workplace.

But then comes July, August, and the rest of the year. As companies remove their flags, LGBTQ+ employees and customers witness the withdrawal of their inclusion. It’s become a joke in the LGBTQ+ community how the 1st of July marks the end of their welcome. Which, considering that the first Pride march took place on 1st July 1972, is ironic.

Allies have been an enormous asset to the LGBTQ+ community since the fight for liberation began, from the Stonewall riots to the AIDS epidemic. Now, as more companies prioritise inclusive values, it’s now more important than ever for allyship in the workplace.

Building community

Many organisations are building internal LGBTQ+ support networks. These are places for colleagues to find support from others who may share their identity, and advocate for changes if necessary. These can be as informal as meeting up over a coffee, to more rigid structures where members take minutes and follow up actions afterwards.

Some businesses choose to let allies join the networks. Some LGBTQ+ employees feel uncomfortable being able to share a space with someone who they might have to teach, whereas others recognise that allies may come across the same discrimination, such as a parent of an LGBTQ+ child. This is a decision each business needs to make.

LGBTQ+ networks form just part of wider inclusive communities. Other networks can focus on:

  • Race
  • Women’s equality
  • Parents and carers
  • Disability
  • Religion or belief

It’s important to note that setting up other networks can also support the LGBTQ+ networks. There are many identities that intersect. For example, a Black Trans woman is more likely to face discrimination than a White Trans woman (known as ‘transmisogynoir’).

Whether or not companies establish networks, committees, or share communities, it’s important that businesses put protections into their policies and that management handles quickly any harassment or discrimination.


Sadly, changing a company’s logo to be rainbow-coloured isn’t enough. It’s important for the marcomms industry to show what’s going on behind the flag. True allyship comes from demonstrating change for employees and customers that go beyond June.

Language plays a huge role in the LGBTQ community, and everyone can take this into consideration. This can be from posts on social media to internal communication and emails. Some language that can be helpful can include:

  • Saying ‘everybody’, ‘folks’, ‘friends’, or ‘team’, rather than ‘ladies and gentleman’ or ‘guys’.
  • Using ‘partner’ rather than ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ or ‘husband/wife’.
  • Referring to someone as ‘that person’ or by their job role, rather than ‘that man/woman’.

Pronouns in email signatures can be a wonderful way of showing inclusivity. Companies shouldn’t force this onto employees, as people may be exploring what pronouns work best for them and could risk ‘outing’ themselves. However, preferred pronouns in email signature show members of the LGBTQ+ community that you are a safe person to talk to and that Trans people are welcome in the organisation.


Every business can do better and there should always be room for growth in any company. LGBTQ+ colleagues shouldn’t be the people who offer education, as this puts added pressure on LGBTQ+ colleagues. There are many LGBTQ+ charities that offer corporate training, which are led by LGBTQ+ trainers. You can also find ongoing support by signing up to the Stonewall Index, which also gives successful applicants a chance to be listed as one of the top 100 employers.

Creating a future together

Allies have always been welcomed within the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s important that allies don’t become the centre of the community. Inclusivity should be a goal all on its own, rather than as a way of generating profits or in recruiting talent.

So, allies, make yourselves at home but remember to be good houseguests!

Magenta is proud to be allies to the LGBTQ+ community every day of the year. We take great care to be as inclusive as possible in all our communications, while also promoting businesses that do good.

Reach out to us if that sounds like a good fit for your business.

Cerys Evans