With #rainbowcapitalism plaguing the LGBTQIA community, particularly apparent during Pride celebration in June, some companies are stressing their post-Pride efforts to help the LGBTQIA community. But there are companies going beyond Pride-related promos, eyeing to establish policies benefiting LGBTQIA employees and, yes, customers. And here, KFC enters the picture, as the fast food restaurant chain stresses how its “operations are geared toward gender equality”, including LGBTQIA inclusion/mainstreaming.
“KFC globally is making sure that its operations are geared toward gender equality,” Charmaine Bautista-Pamintuan, chief marketing officer of KFC Philippines, said to Outrage Magazine.
To ensure this happens, at least globally, the company has – among others – appointed an Equity and Inclusion Leader, fired a manager for discriminating against a transgender woman, and dismissed a worker for calling gay couple homophobic slurs.
These moves are worth highlighting particularly considering the anti-LGBTQIA claims that plague competitors.
Locally, last June, the company partnered with Western-modeled parade-centric Metro Manila Pride (MMP), which – incidentally – does not necessarily stress the company’s pro-LGBTQIA stance.
But Bautista-Pamintuan added that “following the lead of its mother company, KFC Philippines has specific rules that promote fair treatment of everyone and provided in its employee manual provisions that subscribe punishment to manifestations and utterances of words and/or deeds that are disrespectful and offensive to customers and co-employees irrespective of gender.”
As such, KFC in the Philippines is proud that “there has been no record of complaints against the company or its employees that are related to gender equality.”
Also, due to limitations to movements imposed by COVID-19, many Pride events were cancelled (since 2019). So KFC Philippines instead turned the drive-thru of a branch “into a safe space for LGBTQIA members and allies so they could go out and be heard.”
The latter seems like a small act, but for the company, this provided a “venue for people to show their solidarity for the LGBTQIA community… Members and allies were able to come together once again to make their voices be heard loud and clear. Being able to show up for Pride matters more than ever to the community, as efforts to advance LGBTQIA rights issues in the country continue.”