June is Pride Month, though your c-store should be supporting the LGBTQ+ community — customers and employees alike — year-round. Diversity in the retail industry is crucial to your c-store’s success. Everyone deserves equal rights and to be fully accepted for who they are. We’ll discuss four ways your c-store can foster an inclusive, welcoming environment without falling victim to the rainbow-washing bandwagon.
“Right now, in the hourly workforce, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake.”
– AJ Richichi, Sprockets CEO
Sprockets’ mission is to transform the broken hiring process into an equitable one for all, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, or race. Our platform is proven to increase diversity as it evaluates applicants’ mental makeup to reveal who will succeed and stay long-term. And, unlike humans, it’s completely objective.
Top c-store brands like Wawa, BP, Meijer, and Shell all received a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. The tool evaluates “corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.” According to the index, these c-stores are considered the best places to work in the LGBTQ+ community. Make sure your c-store maintains an inclusive environment by following their examples!
Diversity and Inclusion in Retail Examples
1. Avoid “Rainbow-Washing”
While you may think rainbow-ing your company logo throughout June shows support for the LGBTQ+ community, it actually does the opposite. See, a true ally actively engrains LGBTQ+ equality long-term into their company culture and values. According to Forbes, the term “rainbow-washing” refers to companies who profit off rainbow-themed products but fail to support the community long-term. The lack of authenticity is merely performative, or in other words, another social media post.
2. Donate to LGBTQ+ Organizations
Consider giving back to organizations that provide resources for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few reputable ones:
No matter the monetary amount, donations have a direct, positive impact on these individuals’ lives. Regardless of which organization you chose, be sure to do your own research. Encourage your employees to support your chosen organization as well. You could even consider having a small fundraiser in your c-store.
3. Add Pronouns to Employee Name Tags
Addressing someone by their desired pronouns is a basic form of respect that everyone — regardless of sexuality or gender identity — deserves. Top brands like Target now offer employees name tags with pronouns to be more inclusive of all genders. This eliminates confusion and misunderstanding, especially for non-gender-conforming individuals who are more likely to be misgendered. It’s easy for these folks to feel singled out, so by adding your pronouns to your name tag, you are actively showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community and normalizing the conversation around gender identity.
4. Use Gender-Neutral Language
Take the time to redefine how your c-store associates address customers. For example, instead of greeting customers with “hey, guys!” your associates could say “hey, everyone,” “hey, folks,” or even “hey, y’all.” Small, simple changes like these foster inclusivity at your c-store. Plus, it signals that your location(s) are welcoming towards all individuals. Remember, it can be uncomfortable and even frightening for non-binary, transgender, intersex, and other LGBTQ+ folks to speak up, especially if they are misgendered.
5. Implement Sprockets’ Hiring Solution
The Sprockets platform is proven to increase diversity and eliminate bias since there’s no need for resumes or even interviews. “Right now, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake,” explains Sprockets CEO, AJ Richichi.
Our hiring solution uses natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and over 80 years of psychological research to determine which personality traits make your best associates so special. Sprockets’ simple red-yellow-green scoring system makes it easy to see which applicants will succeed and stay long-term, empowering c-store owners and operators to build diverse, reliable teams.