My name is Ben Liegey, and I am the queer CEO of Rethink2gether, a Vancouver-based company on a mission to help commercial kitchens prevent food waste and improve the bottom line.
LGBT Pride Month occurs in June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which began on June 28, 1969, after police raided the Stonewall Inn bar, a gay bar in New York City. Since then, society made a lot of progress. Yet discrimination is still happening, even in Canada. And while companies show their support by rebranding their corporate social media profiles to feature rainbow-colored logos, we are naturally drawn to ask whether these companies are also working to implement real change for the community year-round? And what can be done by companies?
Small Business BC event
Last week, I attended a workshop from Small Business BC, representing 98% of businesses in British Columbia. It was their first in-person event since 2020, dedicated to: Creating Safe and Inclusive Spaces for the LGBTQIA2S+. An opportunity to network and learn from LGBTQIA2S+ entrepreneurs, including:
Tom Conway, Small Business BC CEO
Diane Shaher, Business Owner of the clothing brand PHRSH threads
Max Rivest, Founder of Wize Coffee Leaf, revolutionizing coffee with its tasty infusion made from surplus food: the leaves of arabica coffee plants.
They shared their knowledge and best practices for creating spaces in which everyone belongs.
Here are some of the best practices:
Use pronouns (He/Him, She/Her, They/Them)
Encourage minority/diversity in job descriptions
Have an equity & diversity statement
Build a genderless branding
Add a rainbow flag on Google Maps and/or at your location
Become a member of LOUD Business, uniting the LGBTQ+ business community
I invite you to celebrate Pride, to show your support for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
I invite you to celebrate Pride, to build a diverse and inclusive environment.
I invite you to celebrate Pride, to honor human rights.