A record number of corporations have confirmed their support for Singapore’s biggest LGBTI rally, Pink Dot, set to be held on 4 June this year.
Up from the nine sponsors that the event had in 2015, this year’s event will see a total of 18 corporations making a stand on LGBTI issues in the country.
Besides returning long-time sponsors such as Google, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BP, other new sponsors which have stepped in this year include headlining sponsors Facebook, Apple, General Electric, NBCUniversal and Visa, as well as supporting sponsor Microsoft.
‘We’re proud to be a sponsor of Pink Dot for the first time this year, supporting not only our LGBT employees and families but the broader LGBT community here in Singapore,’ said Sven Henrichwark, Executive Sponsor for General Electric’s Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and All Alliance in Singapore.
Henrichwark added: ‘This sponsorship underpins our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Helping to foster and cultivate diverse talent is not just a cultural value, it’s a business priority.’
Visa’s Vice President of Client Support Services for the Asia Pacific region, Chris Corbett, echoed a similar point of view.
‘We want to ensure that the workplace is accessible and welcoming to all,’ said Corbett.
He added: ‘Above all, diversity and inclusion is about dignity and respect.’
Besides these international names, the event will also see the support of new local sponsors in a bid to reach out to more Singaporeans and permanent residents of the country. These include media companies, law firms and a local cafe chain – the latter two of which are new types of businesses to indicate their support for the event.
‘Many of our sponsors are respected leaders in their respective industries who often arrange for inter-business gatherings to promote diversity,’ said Paerin Choa, spokesperson for Pink Dot.
Choa added: ‘We’re ecstatic about the outpouring of corporate support, which indicates that more and more businesses are seeing the business value in fostering an inclusive and discrimination-free workplace.’
Pink Dot, held annually and for the 8th time this year, drew more than 28,000 supporters to attend its event in 2015. Set against a backdrop consisting of harsh censorship laws prohibiting accurate or positive portrayals of LGBTIs in mainstream media and a law inherited from its British colonial rulers that criminalizes same-sex relations, the event will change its format this year to send a stronger message of the need to recognize diversity in the Singapore society. Instead of lighting up the park with pink torchlights like what has been done for the past four years, event-goers this year will play a more active role in declaring their support for the freedom to love by penning down their own messages onto placards, which will all be raised together at the end of the event in a united statement for inclusivity.
Watch what happened at Pink Dot 2015 here.