June marks Pride Month, a wonderful and important occasion to celebrate, uplift and champion LGBTQ+ voices in our community and across the globe.
While showing up for Pride Month is undoubtedly important, we firmly believe that championing inclusivity, empathy, and equality is a year-round sport – and so do our amazing, sponsored team, the Manchester Mayhem Para Ice Hockey Club.
This fantastic sports club is truly inclusive, with an outstanding team of disabled, non-disabled and LGBTQ+ players that come together to compete throughout the year. Promoting inclusion is so vital to the team that they’ve permanently woven the Pride flag into their logo, helping to encourage LGBTQ+ individuals, young and old, into ice hockey.
With that in mind, there’s no better way to celebrate Pride this month and year-round than to chat with Peter Hagan, our very own trainer at PLS, and head coach at Manchester Mayhem.
Hi Peter, and happy Pride Month! Tell us, why did Manchester Mayhem decide to update its logo to include the Pride flag permanently?
Every year, most brands change their logo to incorporate the Pride flag, but once the month is over, they go back to business as usual. While their intentions are good, this can make Pride feel a little bit like a PR stunt when, really, championing inclusivity should be a year-round endeavour.
In sporting teams especially, research shows LGBTQ+ young people are less likely to join sports clubs because they are concerned about homophobic and unwelcoming environments. We wanted to get the message out that our club is for everybody. Everyone belongs here, and we celebrate each other’s differences.
While we already incorporated the Pride flag into our logo during Pride month, we wanted to do more to uplift our LBGTQ+ players and amplify inclusion and equality all year round.
So, we looked into Pride Tape, a community that promotes inclusion in sports through a visual badge for LGBTQ+ individuals. After a unanimous vote in favour from our team, we decided to permanently incorporate Pride Tape’s rainbow colours into our logo, and we think it looks amazing!
What a fantastic thing to do! What reaction did you get after you changed the logo?
The response we’ve received online has been incredible! Our supporters have embraced the logo change enthusiastically, and people’s comments have been heartwarming.
Within our team, too, we have several players within the LGBTQ+ community, and they are really happy about the new addition to our logo.
That is amazing to hear. PLS has been involved with Manchester Mayhem for a few years now. Can you tell us more about the sponsorship?
PLS’ sponsorship is very active and wholehearted – there’s even the Manchester Mayhem jersey hanging in our company reception area!
Financially, PLS has covered costs to do with sports gear, ice time and equipment.
More importantly, though, the sponsorship has increased feelings of belonging and community.
We not only feel part of the local community, but through PLS’ commitment and enthusiasm, my teammates feel part of the PLS Solicitors team too. They actively promote us, champion initiatives like the LBGTQ+ logo change, and give everyone a sense of pride.
Finally, Pride Month is just as much about championing progress as it is celebration. What do you think companies and individuals alike can do to nurture inclusivity in the workplace?
I believe openness, acceptance and empathy are crucial for creating a working environment where everyone feels safe to bring their authentic selves to work. At PLS, for example, we understand the value of diverse perspectives and compassionate communication – and our team members and company are thriving for it.
When we’re able to celebrate each others’ differences and encourage diversity of thought, we increase feelings of belonging. When that happens, individuals perform better, develop innovative ideas and generate positivity in the workplace.
While it can take time to reshape internal policies and procedures to foster inclusion, putting in the resources and investment is critical. After all, at the end of the day, nurturing inclusivity is a win-win for everyone – and celebrating Pride Month is a great place to start.