Blog 5.6.2023

Promoting equality and diversity – even outside of Pride week

Gofore Crew

I feel conflicted about Pride.

Let me rephrase that: I feel conflicted about the commercialisation of Pride.

Pride can have different meanings for different people, and naturally those meanings can change or fluctuate over time as well. For me right now, Pride is both a reminder of the hard battles that are still being fought and a joyous celebration of equality and love. While it is important to take note of how far we’ve come and acknowledge the struggles of those who came before us, it is equally important to shine a light on the work that is still ahead.

This dichotomy is present also in how I personally relate to Pride. On the other hand: yeah, I am proud! And on the other: I’m also in a position where my minority status isn’t apparent on the outside. I get to choose with whom I share this side of myself. Not everybody has that choice, which brings me to my first point: never assume. Never assume anyone’s sexuality or gender. This goes as a neat general rule of life: never assume about anyone’s mental or physical health, personal life, relations, professional competence, etc., no matter what it looks like for you.

That’s all well and good for individuals, but what about that commercialisation then?

What I’d like to see is for companies acknowledging Pride to take it up a notch. Surely you can do more than make your company logo rainbow for June. Check yourself especially if you’re using Pride flags or Pride “branded” merchandise to boost your visibility or sales. Are you directing a part of or even all the proceeds to e.g., an organisation working to advance LGBTQ+ rights?

Take a look at your company values and your equality and diversity plan. Are they up to date? Does the company act accordingly? Does the work community act accordingly? The company might also seek out and contribute or donate to causes and NPOs working for and with minorities. Think of ways to create more safe, non-discriminatory spaces and policies. Act on those and spread the message – not because it’s good marketing, but because it’s what we as human beings should do unto another.

Flying a rainbow logo is not inherently wrong, it is a great way to show your support. But in addition to that, I’d like to see those values supported in other ways as well – not just this week, not just this month, but all year round. People who celebrate Pride as a part of the community don’t get to turn their minority status off for the remainder of the year. No one should have to justify their existence or their right to live a life that looks like them. My second point: educate yourself and keep an open mind.

This time last year, when celebrating Manse Pride week at our Tampere office, a colleague began asking me about the various colours in the brand-new Pride flag shirts we had all just picked up. Sitting at our cosy café, munching on donuts, discussing the significance of adding new hues as we all collectively keep learning more about ourselves and each other, warms my heart to this day. Sometimes even the smallest, everyday things matter – as long as you’re willing to stay curious and do the work.

Gofore is committed to being a good workplace for everyone, which naturally includes people from all kinds of backgrounds and with varied life experiences. It is the cornerstone of our company values and puts a great emphasis for equality and diversity work. Recently our internal DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts have taken steps through researching the state of DEI matters at Gofore, as well as recognizing what still needs to be improved. While good, supportive intentions are a great starting point, there is always more work to be done, and I hope to see Gofore as a company – and other companies likewise – take the work even further and make it more visible, both within and outside the company.

Final point: Be kind.

Happy Pride – not just this month, not just this week, but all year round.

We organised a We Stand With Pride -online event with VincitSolita and Siili Solutions, where we discussed what companies, leaders, and colleagues can do to promote and support an inclusive and LGBTQI+ friendly culture, especially in the tech world.


The Gofore Crew

Ella Lopperi

Head of Operations in Continuity Services & People Lead

As Head of Operations in Continuity Services at Gofore, Ella is responsible for nurturing the expert community, as well as for operations and strategy. She values open communication, empathy and transparency, and believes these values are key to both great employee and customer experience. Outside of work, Ella can be found reading, playing videogames, singing, writing... or simply immersing herself in the wonders of the Universe.

Back to top