Celebrating Pride and LGBTQ+ Individuals With Employee Resource Groups
June 13, 2023
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The start of June signals the beginning of Pride Month, and it’s important to look back on the significance of Pride and the experience of LGBTQ+ individuals. Despite many organizations emphasizing diversity and inclusion, some LGBTQ+ employees still do not feel comfortable in the workplace. More than eight million workers in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+; however, more than half of U.S workers have not revealed their sexual orientation or gender identity at work due to fear of social exclusion.
While everyone has a right to privacy, feeling comfortable coming out in the workplace is essential. Coming out at work can help relieve the daily stress of hiding your true self, create solidarity and help employees form stronger bonds, break down barriers to promote understanding, and help employees bring their whole selves to work.
At WorkRamp, we promote inclusivity and belonging through our Employee Resource Group (ERG) the LGBTQties. As we have grown as a company, the LGBTQties have grown as well. We wanted to take a moment to spotlight a few of our “QTies,” and celebrate the impact of having a Queer-Identified Employee Resource Group here at WorkRamp.
We asked the group: what does it mean to you to be a part of the LGBTQties here at WorkRamp? Read along for a few of their responses!
Role/Self: Manager, Instructional Design; I live in West Palm Beach, FL!
I didn’t come out and own my identity until I was in my early 30s. I have always had friends who identified as part of the community, but because I put so much effort into concealing my truth, I was never part of that community. I was so excited when LGBTQties launched because I thought it would be fun to connect with people I like and have that common bond. It surprised me to realize how much I needed those connections and how much value I still find in every relatable story, vulnerable moment, and hilarious interaction. Thinking about it makes my heart happy and makes WorkRamp even more of an inclusive, positive environment, and takes the concept of belonging to a whole new level.
Role/Self: Manager, Enterprise Client Outcomes, and I live in Portland, ME!
Co-leading the LGBTQties ERG (before passing the baton this year to our new co-leads!) has been so integral to my time at WorkRamp for several reasons, but most notably because it has fostered an even greater sense of belonging. It has allowed me to align aspects of my identity to what I do every day at work.
Everyone should be able to bring their true selves to work, but moreover, everyone deserves to be celebrated for the unique identity and outlook that they bring to the table. Being supported in taking on a leadership role in the LGBTQties has reflected exactly what I have felt since my first interview with WorkRamp–everyone is encouraged to sew what matters most to them into WorkRamp’s cultural DNA, and we are better for it.
Role/Self: Lead Instructional Designer, born and raised in NYC!
Reflecting on my time at WorkRamp, I’m filled with gratitude for the LGBTQties Employee Resource Group (ERG). As a bi woman, I used to feel like an outsider in queer spaces because of the perceived invisibility of my identity. However, my first meeting with the ERG transformed that feeling. I was nervous yet hopeful and was welcomed with open arms.
It’s not just about the fun events or the heart-to-heart chats, it’s about the profound sense of community I’ve discovered. The ERG has empowered me to confidently embrace my identity at work and beyond. The commitment of our ERG leads to advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, representation, and fostering a diverse, inclusive environment has been really inspiring. The magnitude of their impact, enabling colleagues to be their authentic selves and creating a culture of understanding and belonging, can’t be overstated.
Continuing on this journey of self-acceptance, the support, acceptance, and encouragement I’ve found within LGBTQties continues to be invaluable. It’s not just a resource; it’s a source of inspiration that has guided me in navigating the complexities of who I am with pride and resilience.
Role/Self: Software Engineering Manager, and I live in Berkeley, CA!
The community we have built within the LGBTQties ERG is one of my favorite parts of working at WorkRamp. I am proud of this space for all members of this group to be vulnerable with each other, discuss topics that we might not feel comfortable broadcasting to the whole company, and share our authentic selves.
One of my personal goals with our ERG is to ensure that WorkRamp employees who may be struggling with or figuring out their identity have a welcoming group of colleagues who have been through similar experiences–making it clear that you are not alone. Being a part of this group affords us the opportunity to make our presence known as members of the LGBTQ+ community, candidly share our experiences, and work toward building a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Show your support during Pride month
Wondering what you can do to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride and beyond? Whether you’re a member of the community or an ally, there are many different ways to get involved. But first, it’s important to understand that there’s more to Pride than rainbow logos. It’s easy to buy and wear apparel with rainbow logos and catchphrases, but these items and the companies who sell them don’t always offer actionable or tangible support to the LGBQT+ community. This is known as “rainbow-washing.” That’s not to say that buying clothes with rainbow logos or Pride-related messages isn’t OK; it’s just important to understand where the proceeds for these purchases go.
While there are several retailers and organizations who donate proceeds from their sales to the LGBQT+ movement, we wanted to highlight a few organizations where you can turn for support or donate to help the cause.
THRIVE Lifeline is a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization dedicated to changing the landscape of mental health support for people with marginalized identities. THRIVE offers a free text-based crisis line. THRIVE Lifeline is a 100 percent volunteer trans-led and operated organization.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBQT+ young people. Visit the website to connect with a crisis counselor or donate to support the organization.
SAGE is a network of support for LGBTQ+ elders. SAGE is more than just an organization. It’s a movement of loving, caring activists dedicated to providing advocacy, services, and support to older members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis–or the trans community, by the trans community.LGBT National Help Center
LGBT National Help Center
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer support, community connections, and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The LGBT National Help Center has three national hotlines that offer support for youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems, and more.
Pride Institute offers inclusive and accepting recovery programs for members of the LGBTQ+community. The Pride Institute is one of the leading providers in the area of residential and outpatient program treatment for the substance use and addiction needs of the LGBTQ+ population.
Whether you need support or you’re looking for ways to donate or contribute, these are just a few of many organizations where you can reach out or get involved. While it’s wonderful to celebrate inclusivity during Pride month, remember, that this is something that should be top of mind on an ongoing basis. During Pride and beyond, let’s look for ways to support, elevate, and celebrate LGBTQ+ friends, coworkers, and family members.
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