Tips for Making Your Salon a Safe & Inclusive Environment
As beauty industry professionals, we have the opportunity to play an important role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community by creating a culture of belonging where people feel safe. As the world celebrates Pride this month, it’s time to work together as skincare professionals to provide a place where everyone feels beautiful in their own skin.
The first thing you can do is ensure that offering an inclusive environment goes beyond Pride Month. Showing your LGBTQ+ community, customers and employees that you are an ally acknowledges that you understand that we still live in a time when rights are being questioned, and that some are still unable to live freely as their authentic self. Here are some tips to show your support beyond the month of June and make allyship and Pride a year-round business objective for your salon.
Celebrate Your Pride
Pride Month is an opportunity to leverage the awareness on LGBTQ+ issues by connecting and educating yourself and your staff—everyone that works in your salon should understand current information as it pertains to the LGBTQ+ movement. Look for opportunities to learn together about the broad spectrum of challenges the LGBTQIA+ community faces by meeting with local organizations. Encourage your employees to keep their eyes open to experiences and conversations they may hear from your customers, and join a Pride celebration or parade with your employees and even customers. If you aren’t part of the LGBTQIA+ community yourself, the best course of action is to listen to those who are—both when you’re planning any activity for Pride Month or looking for ways to be an ongoing ally.
Create a Safe Space
Whether that’s a sticker in your window, a rainbow flag proudly displayed outside your business, or a badge on your website, demonstrating that you are LGBTQIA+ friendly will be reassuring for members of the community. The goal is to make your business inclusive for your customers and let people know about it—the truth is customers support businesses that lead the way when it comes to societal issues. Some facts from Open to All:
- 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.
- 35% of Americans think a company’s reputation is just as important as the products it makes and have purchased a product more than once because of this reason.
- Nearly ⅔ of Millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something.
Committed to making a difference? Here’s how you walk the talk when it comes to creating a safe and inclusive salon:
- Add gender pronouns to your name tags and train staff to be respectful of pronouns
- Have inclusivity trainings for your staff
- Install a gender-neutral restroom for customers
- Hire a diverse and inclusive team
- Make your business ADA compliant
- Offer to host inclusive community events in your space
- Declare that you are “Open to All” and join this non-profit movement fighting to build a nation where all are welcome; include links and signage on your salon door, website and social media.
Live Pride All Year Long
Go beyond in your efforts by evaluating who you partner with. If you work with companies that are hostile to or discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, then you’re indirectly doing harm as a business owner. Consider using products in your salon from LGBTQ+ owned businesses or those that look to actually support the movement vs. just capitalizing on it. You could even consider partnering with them to co-create an item or experience.