A resource for business owners & entrepreneurs who want to reclaim their time.
Become a SCALING:lab Member and receive the articles + case studies a week before they’re live to the public..
*** Articles are first published to SCALING:lab — sign up to get the first look. ***
Pinkwashing, also known as rainbow washing, is widely defined as when a company uses pride or LGBTQ issues to make a quick buck.
We see this a lot during pride month. Businesses from banks to beers are putting out rainbow everything. And while we appreciate the visibility and the advocacy, it really can fall flat because we in the queer community are wondering, “What do you mean by that rainbow?” If there isn’t much to back it up, then we feel pandered to.
We know which companies have a positive track record (or any track record at all) of real advocacy work over the years. Wells Fargo, for example, used to deny LGBTQ patrons outright any mortgage or funding. Today, they plaster a rainbow across their brand during Pride. It… doesn’t look good.
So if you’re a small business owner who wants to support the LGBTQ community and wants to celebrate Pride Month, but doesn’t want to pink wash, here are four things you can do to join in the fun.
1. Attach any pride products to an actual charity organization.
A great example of a charity with deep impact are homeless shelters for LGBTQ youth. A lot of us get kicked out of our homes at a young age just for being who we are. By supporting organizations that work directly with the LGBTQ Community, you can seriously make a difference. And by attaching your product or service to a charity, you help the LGBTQ community rather than just sell as a product.
2. Don’t only sell the product during pride month.
The LGBTQ Community is under fire throughout the year and around the world, not just in the United States but also in Hungary, Poland, Uganda, and Iran. Just because Pride Month is over doesn’t mean that our security and safety isn’t still an issue. If your product is attached to a charity, you help human rights year round.
3. Don’t only market your Pride products to the queer community.
The LGBTQ community tends to have lower wealth access because of the discrimination we experience throughout our lives and in our careers. If you sell us a product that gives to an LGBTQ charity, not only have we probably given to that charity already, but that means that we’re operating in a closed economy. By marketing the product to the wider community, you bring funds into the LGBTQ community where it’s really, really needed.
4. Consider what your internal business structure is like.
The queer community talks, and we know whose company is dope and whose company is nope. I offer LGBTQ Inclusion Training for small businesses because it can feel overwhelming to learn new lingo and change some of the stuff we learned when we were young, however incorrect. If you’d like to start, now, a few little things can make all the difference. For example, ask for both colleague’s and employee’s pronouns, or invite significant others to the company picnic rather than ‘husbands and wives.’