July 1, 2022

5 ways to create an inclusive space where everyone feels welcomed

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5 ways to create an inclusive space where everyone feels welcomed

At Archlet, the A-Team isn’t just what we call ourselves. The A-Team is a promise to always find strength in our differences. It’s valuing every individual’s voice, style, thoughts, and opinions—whoever they love, however they identify, wherever they come from. This Pride month, we set out to celebrate just that.

Engagement and education instead of exhibition.

Celebrating Pride at Archlet had to be more than rainbow logos and hanging up a rainbow flag in the office. To truly live out our value of “A-team” we needed to put in the work to ensure our culture continues to be one where all feel included. Not just in June, but all year long. We dove into LGBTQ+ literature, organized educational sessions for the company, implemented further gender-inclusive measures, and celebrated as a team. 

If there’s one thing we learned this month, it’s how small acts amount to resounding impact. Our work to promote and develop an inclusive and diverse workplace doesn’t end here. However, we’d like to show you the 5 ways we celebrated Pride month at Archlet and hope to inspire others looking to build more inclusive environments. 

01 Learn and keep learning

It can seem easy or convenient to tap the shoulder of a member of their LGBTQ+ community to ask them about their own experiences with adversity. However, educating others is a burden that no member of the LGBTQ+ community should have to carry. As allies, we must take it upon ourselves to listen, read, watch, observe, and strengthen our own knowledge. In short: learn and keep learning. Continuous education is a crucial step in allyship and is something we strive to do at Archlet.

Here’s how we tackled education this Pride month, and you could do it too!

  •    We hosted a dedicated Spotlight Session that unpacked LGBTQ+ history, why inclusivity matters, and how we can show up as better allies
  •    We took up the Queer Bible in the Archlet book club, a collection of stories written by public figures in the LGBTQ+ community
  •    We introduced the team to the Archlet Pride Hero, a Slack bot who shared daily facts every day of June
  •    We shared resources with one another—all to keep the learning going

02 Work beyond our biases

Normative assumptions happen all the time. “Do you also have a boyfriend?” and “I’m sure all the girls have a crush on you” flow out of peoples’ mouth often without a second thought. Operating under the assumption that all individuals are heterosexual and cisgender makes anything different become perceived as “abnormal.” Individuals whose identities don’t fit neatly within the “norm“ are often pushed into situations where they must provide an explanation—why they aren’t interested in men, why they identify as they/them, why they dress a certain way.

How did we work beyond our implicit biases? We engaged the Archlet team at the start of the month in a hands-on workshop where we unpacked different topics to break us out of the box of normativity:

  •    We explored types of normative assumptions, such as cisnormativity and heteronormativity
  •    We engaged in self-reflection exercises that helped the team empathize with the marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community
  •    We practiced common everyday scenarios to help adapt our language for greater inclusivity

03 Normalize pronoun sharing

Pronouns are the simplest way to acknowledge someone’s identity. Using the correct ones is an act of respect. Trans, non-binary, intersex and gender nonconforming individuals are misgendered with untold frequency. By normalizing pronoun sharing we can promote acceptance and help to dismantle the notion that gender is something that can be assumed. At Archlet, we’re striving to make pronoun sharing the norm by asking all team members make their pronouns visible. Though a seemingly simple step, it’s a big one for fostering a truly safe and inclusive environment.

Here are the ways the A-Team displays their pronouns, and you can do the same!

  •    Slack username and/or title description
  •    LinkedIn has a simple feature that lets you display pronouns
  •    Email signatures to signal to external stakeholders that pronoun sharing is important to us

04 Become visible allies

Whether big or small, visible and vocal acts of allyship communicate safety and acceptance to members of LGBTQ+ community. Visibility efforts are important to demonstrate one’s commitment to allyship and solidarity with marginalized communities. At Archlet, we “allied out loud” during Pride month and provided the A-Team with ways to show to allyship all-year round.

Here’s what we did:

  •    Created a Pride-themed virtual background for online meetings
  •    Designed an Archlet Pride Hero sticker for everyone to plaster on their laptops, phones or reusable water bottles
  •    Hung up a curated events calendar with a roundup of all Pride events around Zürich to get everyone actively involved

05 Celebrate Pride as a team

Pride is a feeling of togetherness and belongingness. And most of all, Pride is a celebration. A celebration of diversity, community, and people. Bringing the A-Team together during Pride to celebrate the many colours of the rainbow was key to strengthening our company values and having fun in the process.

Here are some of the fun activities we did during Pride month:

  •    We challenged the Archlet team to make their very own rainbow cocktails. The secret to succeeding here: physics!
  •    We ate some delicious and fudgy chocolate cake pops displayed in the colors of the rainbow flag during our monthly Archlet Breakfast
  •    We got competitive and tested our knowledge in a game of Pride-themed jeopardy
  •    Some team members local to Zürich joined the annual Zürich Pride Parade together to show support for the community

The work doesn‘t stop

While some may wonder why Pride is still necessary, we argue it’s just as important as ever. Until people become aware of these issues and society enacts enough change, both mentally and politically, Pride is necessary. Nevertheless, the work shouldn’t stop on July 1st. While yesterday may mark the last day of Pride month, for us it’s just the beginning as we strive to make Archlet a safe and inclusive space for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

We will take our learnings from this month and keep applying them, keep learning, and keep growing together in a more inclusive environment. We hope you’ll join us.


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