We’re proud to recognize Pride at LS&Co. — a month dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ voices, culture and equality. Throughout June in the U.S., and into the summer and fall months globally, community members and their allies participate in events ranging from solemn to celebratory, each expressing and emphasizing Pride in opposition to shame and social stigma.
LS&Co. has been a proud advocate for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community for nearly three decades, starting with our employees. For example, we were the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to unmarried domestic partners, which we did in 1992. And we have been designated a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) since 2004.
The Progress Pride flag is waving across the country this month, including proudly here at Levi’s® Plaza for the first time, to commemorate the month and celebrate the impact our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters have had in the world.
Here’s a recap of our flag raising ceremony, which was held on June 1.
“The raising of this flag comes at a crucial time as we double down on our commitment to advance equality at LS&Co.,” said Elizabeth A. Morrison, our chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “Globally, there are many countries, including the United States, where LGBTQIA+ individuals still lack protections for fundamental rights and dignity; this is one of many ways we’re helping to drive visibility and our commitment to this community.”
Ending violence and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community demands our collective commitment, focus and diligence.
Equality and nondiscrimination in our workplace are integral to how we do business. The importance of Pride goes beyond legal rights. It is also about inclusion and the freedom to authentically express oneself.
Our LGBTQIA+ identifying employees and allies deserve to be heard, seen, valued and celebrated for who they truly are so they can thrive in our workplace and society.
We’re expanding our global Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at LS&Co. — which include our LGBTQIA+ ERGs Unlabeled in Europe and Inside Out in the U.S. — to include a new one that we’ll welcome this month in Asia called BeYou Alliance. These ERGs help create safe spaces for our employees and foster authentic and meaningful connections.
Our LGBTQIA+ ERGs will partner with the rest of the ERG community to educate, celebrate and showcase queer culture this month.
Using Our Voice for Change
Though we’ve been at the forefront of much of this progressive change and have always celebrated Pride as a company — including right here in our backyard, San Francisco — we know there’s much more work to be done.
Most recently, LS&Co.:
- Joined the Protect Our Kids Fund in response to Florida’s ‘Hateful’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law with a grant to Lambda Legal.
- Signed on to a business amicus brief in the Carpenter v. James case, in support of LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
- Extended a $50,000 grant to GiveOut in support of intersectional activism in Europe and Asia, including their LGBTQIA+ Climate Fund and Amplifund partnership with Gay Times. LS&Co.’s grant to GiveOut will support organizations working at the intersection of LGBTQIA+ human rights and refugee experiences, ensuring that LGBTQIA+ people are not left behind in the humanitarian response.
- For our employees, last year we completed our first Global Self Identification (GSID) campaign, adding two new categories of sexual orientation and gender identity — important data that will allow us to better tailor programs and benefits (mental health included) for our LGBTQIA+ identifying employees.
We remain committed to the fight for equality and belonging. Learn more about the progress we’re making on our commitment.