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What it means to be an authentic ally | Purposeful Connections

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Halfway through Pride Month, we've seen more instances of "rainbow washing" than authentic ally-ship from corporations. Our first story this week unpacks what rainbow washing is — and isn't — and includes guidance from companies that want to authentically and concretely support the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Most important, the advice comes from New Belgium, a brewing company with a history of celebrating, uplifting, and advocating for LGBTQ+ issues and rights.

Another urgent issue in corporate America is the mental health and wellbeing of employees. While many companies stepped up their mental health benefits over the last two years, some experts fear this focus will wane with the pandemic. That's why Thrive Global and SHRM are urging companies to recommit to supporting their employees' mental health. Ultimately, the companies that include, empower, listen to, and uplift their employees as unique individuals will be successful long-term (our new research proves it!).

It's time for rainbow washing to end. This is the message behind New Belgium's guide to understand - and avoid - corporate rainbow washing, which is the inauthentic use of the pride rainbow. Each June, more and more companies slap a rainbow behind their logo or release feel-good communications without addressing their own policies, practices, and year-round support related to LGBTQ+ issues. For example: if a company makes a donations to an LGBTQ+ nonprofit but doesn't provide employees with insurance plans that cover gender reassignment, how can they claim to be allies?

  • New Belgium Brewing: How to Spot Rainbow Washing

  • Urban List: Rainbow Washing Is A Thing, Here's Why It Needs To Stop

  • Wired: The Problem with the 'Rainbow Washing' of LGBTQ+ Pride

Pledge to support mental health. A new initiative by Thrive Global and the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) urges corporations to recommit to their employees' mental health and wellbeing. Ariana Huffington, founder of Thrive, said of the pledge: "We launched the pledge amid growing concerns that, as economic times are getting tougher, the advances made during the last two years in support of employee mental health and wellbeing could be lost."

  • Thrive Global: Take the Mental Health Pledge

  • LinkedIn: Ariana Huffington's statement on the pledge

New research from JUST Capital finds that more than 90% of Americans believe it's important for companies to promote racial diversity and equity in the workplace. This is up from 79% in 2021, according to the latest edition of JUST Capital's Corporate Racial Equity Tracker. Now in its second year, the Tracker monitors the concrete actions American corporations are taking to address racial injustice and enforce workplace equity.

  • JUST Capital: The 2022 Corporate Racial Equity Tracker

  • PolicyLink and JUST Capital: 2021 CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity

More than 80% of employees will only work at a purpose-driven company. That's just one of the groundbreaking findings in our new research, Purpose Under Pressure, which explores how purpose has evolved two-plus years into the pandemic. Building on findings from our 2020 report, The B2B Purpose Paradox, Purpose Under Pressure also polled C-suite leaders to gauge their perspectives on purpose today. Explore the full report from Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, The Harris Poll, and Allison + Partners here.

Curious what else our team is reading, watching, or listening to? Here's what has inspired and informed us lately:

  • MIT Sloan: Why We Don't Talk About Meaning at Work

  • EA Games: Customizable Pronouns Now Available in The Sims 4

  • AdWeek: The Metaverse Can Be a Force For Good in The Real World

  • Campaign US: Four Pride Campaigns That Stand Up To Hate


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