Studio Stories

Moon Wins PRIDE Gold Award

01/25/2024

Creating an environment and work culture that is inclusive and welcoming to all backgrounds has always been a priority here at Moon. Diversity is our superpower; we have a vast array of talented people who bring their unique experiences, knowledge, passions, and mastery to their work to help entrepreneurs and innovators bring new business ideas to life. But, as with all great feats, it takes hard, endless work. And likely, with those great feats, getting recognized for that work is an incredible feeling. 

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Anna Hiraoka and Machi Rezende representing Moon at the 
work with Pride PRIDE Index Award ceremony.

We are thrilled to have been a recipient of Japan’s work with Pride PRIDE Index 2023 Gold Award. The PRIDE Index recognizes companies in Japan that support the promotion and establishment of diversity management in their organization. To evaluate these companies, a jury of external professionals belonging to academia and NGOs measures a company’s efforts based on five aspects:

  • Policy 
  • Representation 
  • Inspiration
  • Development
  • Engagement/empowerment 

Inside each category, points are awarded for tangible actions that a company needs to commit to receive the certification.

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Aside from having clearly stated policies that support and protect those who identify as LGBTQIA, Moon takes great effort and care to ensure representation by creating safe spaces and taking actions to increase allyship. By having events like a Pride art show and gallery, open mic sessions, and discussions where we can share thoughts and perspectives, we are not only growing our community and allies, but we are increasing understanding amongst our community and making sure that everyone’s voices are heard. We support and accept one another wholeheartedly, including using gender-neutral language, using self-identified pronouns, and providing continuous support during gender reassignment procedures. We know that diversity, equity, and inclusion all require intentional action to create change, and to that, our work can never be done. And that work transcends beyond Moon, which was apparent at the work with Pride PRIDE Index Awards ceremony. 

Machi Rezende, Design Lead at Moon, attended the ceremony in Tokyo where he witnessed not just the great strides Japanese businesses are making towards creating safe and supportive work communities for LGBTQIA people, but also acknowledged that much work is yet to be done: 

“In 2023’s work with Pride Report, 326 companies were awarded a gold prize, 56 received the silver prize, and 15 achieved a bronze status. To see many companies engaged in such initiatives is inspiring. However, by crossing the number of corporations who were dedicated to applying for the certification with the number of established companies in the country it becomes clear that there is still much to be done. 

Even at Moon, where we are proud of being a place where Diversity is celebrated and Inclusion is among our practices, it was clear that our HR department, together with volunteers from our team, had to work hard to further improve our policies and actions related to the creation of safe spaces and equality toward LGBTQIA individuals. It was our first time applying for the work with Pride recognition, and although the achievement of the Gold status fills our hearts with the feeling of accomplishment, we know that we still have space to improve even further. 

"Although the achievement of the Gold status fills our hearts with the feeling of accomplishment, we know that we still have space to improve even further." 

The acknowledgment that there is still work to be done was clearly conveyed by the organizers of the certification during the conference. The urge for the normalization of the queer existence within corporate spaces – and society – and the role of allies, was echoed among the guest speakers. The call for action to change from within and normalize the lives of LGBTQIA people was also expressed by singer Shinjiro Atae, who was interviewed at the award ceremony. He emphasized the message that although any queer person should be able to safely come out if they feel like it, the ideal scenario has to be the normalization of the plurality of sexual orientations and gender expressions in society. 

Another eye-opening presentation was made by Takai Yutosato, a professor at Gunma University. In her speech, she tried to bring attention to the struggles of transgender individuals. As Professor Takai highlighted, although the inequalities toward Lesbians and Gays, for instance, are deeply problematic, transgender people are the ones suffering in an endless cycle of poverty and mental health issues. She further invoked the audience, which included many representatives from corporate HR departments, to take action and think about means to remediate the struggles of the trans community and include them in their set of actions. Her presentation was deeply moving, engraving in everyone’s mind the recognition that there is still lots to be done.” 

For Moon, and we hope for many other companies as well, the work with Pride Certification is not a company goal or a way to performatively display a diverse culture with a certificate on the wall or a logo stamped on the homepage. Rather, it’s an opportunity to learn more about LGBTQIA issues and to improve workplaces for people of that community. The work with Pride organization and the work they do are prime examples of how the corporate sector can engage in meaningful dialogue with society, academia, and government. At Moon, we already knew we were working with pride, but now we see how much we could improve and what we still have to work on. Have ideas on how workplaces can improve diversity, equity, and inclusion? Let us know at hello@mooncreativelab.com

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