Marketing the Rainbow

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The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is an American multinational consumer goods corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. It specializes in a wide range of health, personal care and hygiene products.

The corporate website says: "P&G is a Company that believes in diversity and inclusion. With more than 140 nationalities represented in our workforce, our own diversity helps us reflect and win with the consumers we serve around the world. 

The more we understand people, their needs and challenges, the better we can delight them with our products and services. And while diversity is essential in all we do, we believe inclusion changes the game. Every day we strive to get the full value of our diversity through inclusion — fostering an environment where P&G people can be their best, full and authentic selves in the workplace. But our job doesn’t end there — our belief and commitment extend beyond P&G’s walls. We are driving action on the world stage to make a meaningful difference, and we care deeply about our impact, always striving to make the world a little bit better through our actions.

A commitment we take pride in."

The beginning

Out of the Shadows

2019 marked a milestone for P&G Pride: the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising in New York City, and the 25th anniversary of the employee affinity group, GABLE. P&G partnered with Great Big Story to launch a film entitled Out of the Shadows, which "recognizes the courageous individuals who made a lasting impact on P&G and the communities where we live".

As the sequel to last year’s award-winning film, The Words Matter, this film follows the journey of a small group of P&G employees who rallied against intolerance and hate, and turned the tide of prejudice. Their efforts helped to ensure that LGBT+ employees received equal benefits within the Company.

In the early 1990s, a group of gay and lesbian employees at P&G in Cincinnati banded together to fight for equality in their workplace. It seemed like an impossible dream—while P&G was one of the first Fortune 500 companies to add “sexual orientation” to its EEO (equal employment opportunity) statement in 1992, the company’s leadership was conservative and fellow employees were openly homophobic. And, in 1993, Cincinnati passed Article XII, an amendment that prevented any laws aimed at protecting gays and lesbians. It was a hostile environment and a difficult time for employees to openly be themselves. Still, the group, which called itself GABLE, persisted. Slowly but surely, they found allies, educated their colleagues and won big victories—including benefits for domestic partners. Today, GABLE has 5,000 members in more than 50 countries, and P&G is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly companies in the world. Meet the pioneers who risked everything to change P&G’s corporate culture for the better.

The Words Matter: One Voice Can Make a Difference

In 2018 P&G produced a film called "The Words Matter: One Voice Can Make a Difference", together with Great Big Story. 

When Michael Chanak took a job at Procter & Gamble in the mid 1980s, the AIDS epidemic was rampant. The company had found a niche with Peridex—a prescription mouthwash used to treat thrush in people suffering from HIV/AIDS. But despite selling to the LGBT community, P&G had no language protecting these individuals within the company. Chanak, who’d become a vocal gay rights activist, wanted to change that. With years of work and help from a small but determined group of colleagues, in 1992, P&G became one of the first Fortune 500 companies to add sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity (EEO) statement of diversity. Twenty-five years later, that legacy lives on. This is the story of one man’s efforts to hold a corporation responsible and ultimately improve the lives of LGBT workers across the country.

Case study: Proctor & Gamble

Branche: Cosmetics & Health