The CWB Group celebrates Pride Month

June 21, 2022

Brief History of Pride Month 

The celebration for the LGBTQ2S+ community or Pride Month is in June as it coincides with the famous Stonewall Riots. The Gay Liberation movement began when police raided a popular gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s West Village in the early hours of June 28, 1969. Although this was commonplace behaviour at that time, the difference on this day was that the patrons of the bar fought back, starting the Stonewall Riots, which went on for days. Years later, in 2015, the Stonewall Inn was declared a historic landmark by the city of New York, and in 2016, US President Barack Obama named it a national monument.

Similarly, the 1960s saw significant pivots in lawmaking to become more inclusive of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Canada. On May 14, 1969, Canada decriminalized sexual acts between two consenting adults of the same sex, and it received royal assent on June 27, one day before the Stonewall Riots. The inaugural pride week was held in 1973 in many Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. The event saw rallies for gay rights, and we saw a shift into the gay liberation movement, showcasing acceptance and the emergence of gay pride. Throughout our recent history, many notable events have highlighted the gay liberation movement and called upon Canadians to be more accepting of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Through lawmaking that focused on diversity and equity, Canadian lawmakers recognized that the Charter of Rights did not include same-sex couples, and progress has been made to do so for us and the generations after us.

Why is it essential to recognize Pride Month as a company?

As a company with a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the CWB Group remains committed to issues that impact the community. Although much progress has been made as a nation to be more accepting, there is still important work to be done. By supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community, we acknowledge the struggles they face every day. We continue to foster a safe and open environment for our employees and aim to set the standard in the industry for being inclusive and accommodating. It is important to understand the issues faced by the LGBTQ2S+ community and work towards promoting acceptance and preventing discrimination.

Education and Knowledge – CWB Group’s Commitment 

One of the CWB Group’s core values is Respect; we stand in support of diversity and inclusion in all forms. We strongly support significant issues in the workplace through our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Employee Resource Group. We encourage and welcome employment applications from people who share our values to build a strong and inclusive welding sector.

In honour of Pride Month, the CWB Group is hosting a gender diversity webinar for our staff to educate the organization on gender expression and identity. Conversations around why understanding gender identity and gender expression are important. The training will provide critical learning on avoiding misgendering and making assumptions about someone’s gender identity. As an organization, we feel that it is vital to continue our learning journey on a continuous basis. By providing access to knowledge resources for our employees, we ensure that they are given the tools to practice inclusive behaviours in their day-to-day interactions.

Celebrating Pride and showing support

As always, the CWB Group encourages its employees and the community to educate themselves on the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ2S+ community. With our gender diversity focus group and month-long activities planned by the DEI Employee Resource Group, the organization hopes to shed light on a very significant issue today. Acknowledging the difficulty faced by the LGBTQ2S+ community is a crucial step towards acceptance and changing discriminatory behaviours in workplaces and society as a whole.

By: Rhea Gill
Communications Lead, CWB Group