Engagement and Culture

Celebrating Pride Month as a distributed company

It starts with fostering inclusivity across timezones.
June 23, 2022
Oyster Team
Two people holding the Pride flag and smiling

One of the best things about working at a distributed company is having a whole world of holidays to celebrate. With teammates spread across 60+ countries, our #celebrate-around-the-world Slack channel is always buzzing with messages showcasing the festivities and observances happening around the globe.

In many countries around the world, the month of June marks Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and the continued fight for equal rights. As a distributed company, our celebrations look a little different than they would if we were together in an office. While we don’t have a shared space to decorate or local events to attend together, we do get to celebrate Pride around the world—and we think that’s even more special!

Below are some ways you can foster inclusivity on your distributed team this Pride Month (and every month), as well as a look at what we’re doing to celebrate at Oyster. 

Fostering inclusivity remotely 

Feeling a sense of inclusivity and belonging has a big impact on peoples’ happiness at work. But with teammates spread across continents and time zones, you have to be really intentional about creating opportunities for these feelings to grow. 

Let’s look at some ways to foster inclusivity in a remote or distributed work environment.

💡 Diversity and inclusion was ranked one of the top five most important factors at a company in our Employee Expectations Report. Read it here!

1. Start with leadership

Having your leadership team actively speak out against discrimination—and affirm their commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all—sets the tone for your entire organization. Take a look at this quote from our CEO, Tony Jamous:

Quote from Tony Jamous

This sentiment was echoed by Co-Founder Jack Mardack:

Jack Mardack quote

2. Create a space for community

With no lunch table conversations or after work happy hours, there aren’t as many organic opportunities to build connections with colleagues in a remote environment. That’s why you have to create them! At Oyster, we have social groups and Slack channels for all types of things, one being our social channel for LGBTQIA+ Oyster employees and allies. In this space, teammates can share everything from resources, to photos, to favorite shows. 

Like everything at Oyster, what’s extra special about this community is that it stretches across borders. Creating this opportunity for employees to feel valued and supported allows relationships to form—sometimes even without meeting face-to-face or synchronously.

3. Walk your talk

Everyone loves swag, but we really love swag with purpose. Our team released these Pride items in the Oyster Swag Shop, and a portion of all orders will go to a LGBTQIA+ charity.

Oyster Pride swag
💡 Looking to take action? Some organizations you may want to consider donating to are Rainbow Railroad, OutRight Action International, and ILGA.

4. Give back

Money isn’t the only way you can give back. In fact, giving your time can be one of the most impactful ways to celebrate Pride and make a meaningful impact. At Oyster, we encourage employees to spend 8 hours per quarter volunteering with an organization of their choice.

5. Share your pride

The only thing better than celebrating Pride is sharing it! Being a diverse team spread across the globe, we get the chance to see Pride celebrations happening everywhere from Berlin to San Francisco. At Oyster, we have a #snaps Slack channel where we encourage teammates to share photos of their local adventures. If you haven’t yet, we’d suggest you create something similar for your own global team and see what Pride looks like in different communities around the world! 

Educating and learning together

In addition to the above, our team is also building a running list of resources to read, watch, listen to, and get involved with this Pride month and year-round. We’re sharing the latest verison of the list below. If you have any suggestions, tweet us at @HeyOyster and we’ll add them to this list! 

Read 

  • Lambda Literary 2022 Lammy Finalists (BookList) - Created in 1989, The Lambda Literary Awards (or “Lammys”) have maintained a proud tradition of celebrating vibrant, dynamic LGBTQIA+ storytelling. Today, the Lammys celebrate more than 150 LGBTQIA+ writers across 24 categories.
  • 40 Fantastic LGBT Books to Read This Pride Month (Book List) - Celebrate Pride with inspiring picks from a variety of genres.
  • We Are Everywhere (Book) - A rich and sweeping photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement, from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt_history.
  • The Stonewall Reader (Book) - Drawing from the New York Public Library’s archives, The Stonewall Reader is a collection of firsthand accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQIA+ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the Stonewall riots. 

Watch 

  • TEDTalks: Love is Love (Playlist) - These moving, personal talks share stories of love and commitment in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Disclosure (Documentary)  - An unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender.

Listen

  • 12 Top LGBTI Podcasts to listen to (List) - Gay Star News Digital Pride festival brings together some of the best new and up-and-coming LGBTI podcasts from across the world to talk about loneliness and isolation—this year’s festival theme.
  • 15 LGBTQ Podcasts That'll Make You Proud Year-Round (List) - Each of the 15 picks here occupy a different spot on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, offering a variety of voices and perspectives.
  • Spotify: Pride (Playlist) - Find your perfect Pride soundtrack and celebrate out loud.

Get involved

We thrive together

As a global company, we know that not all of our employees live in countries where it is safe to live and love authentically and freely. Together, we’re committed to creating and inclusive workplace and standing against discrimination and persecution based on gender identity and sexual orientation. 

After all, one of our core values at Oyster is We thrive together. Our CEO, Tony, said it best: “You, and your entire self are welcome here at Oyster.” 

Happy Pride! 

Want to learn more about we're managing a distributed team at Oyster? Check out our Building in Public series!

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

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Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce.

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