Sydney WorldPride and beyond: Supporting the LGBTQ+ community

Ahead of Sydney WorldPride 2023 commencing in February 2023, the ARA has launched a campaign encouraging members to play an active role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, including the release of an industry-wide position statement that aims to build more inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees and a guide with some suggestions about how members get involved during (and following) Sydney WorldPride.

The NSW government expects more than 78,000 domestic and international visitors to attend Sydney WorldPride 2023, with more than 500,000 people anticipated to attend across the three-week event between 17 February and 5 March 2023. Held every two years by a roving host city, Sydney WorldPride 2023 is slated to be one of Sydney’s biggest events since the 2000 Olympics, bringing $100 million into the local economy.

Not only will Sydney WorldPride 2023 be a celebration of the vibrant diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s also an exciting opportunity to continue the revitalisation of Sydney’s CBD and restore Australia’s standing as a visitor economy powerhouse, with its flow-on effects across the retail economy.

Whilst Sydney is hosting the event, we expect Australian retailers across the country will take the opportunity to celebrate diversity, equality and inclusion – sending a strong and encouraging message to both the domestic and international visitors.

Position Statement

The ARA Position Statement for the Inclusion of LGBTQ+ People provides context about inequalities impacting LGBTQ+ people and outlines some of the proposed actions retailers can take to address these inequities. You can click here for a copy of the position statement and join Australia’s leading retailers showing their public support of the LGBTQ+ community by signing up to the ARA’s Position Statement.

 

Member Guide

The ARA has also produced a guide, pulling together some suggestions about how members can show their support of the LGBTQ+ community, starting with a pride-themed take-over of their website and social media channels, or in-store activations and visual merchandising displays. These are just two of the 15 suggestions we’re promoting with members, who we recognise are all at different stages of their journey on engaging with the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll find an overview of the recommendations below and you can click here for a copy of the member guide.

  • Commit to the ARA Position Statement for the Inclusion of LGBTQ+ People
  • Schedule a WorldPride take-over of your online and social channels, including your logo and website
  • Use an approved #pride handle to connect with LGBTQ+ visitors, consumers and employees during WorldPride and Mardi Gras

  • Develop a timeline and plan for implementing the actions outlined in the ARA Position Statement for the Inclusion of LGBTQ+ People
  • Raise the profile of LGBTQ+ leaders and the unique experience of LGBTQ+ employees in your business
  • Role-model positive language and behaviours from the top-down

  • Give a mandate to your visual merchandising teams for in-store activations and window displays
  • Engage with InterRetail about what leading retail employers are doing to create visibly safe and inclusive workplaces
  • Consider signing up to the Welcome Here project in selected sites for your customers and/or employees

  • Encourage your leadership team to lead by example by attending WorldPride events
  • Run an internal event to raise the profile of issues for LGBTQ+ employees
  • Run an internal survey to help capture better data about the number of LGBTQ+ people in your workforce and their unique experiences and needs

  • Launch employee network group for LGBTQ+ people and allies
  • Launch unique service offerings alongside your EAP for LGBTQ+ employees and their support networks
  • Raise funds and awareness for LGBTQ+ charities (either directly or through i=Change)
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