June marks Pride Month in many countries around the world. It’s a time to celebrate and honor the LGBTQIA+ community’s longstanding impact and ongoing movement toward equal rights. This month, our LGBTQIA+ Community of Belonging, Seismic Pride Alliance, coordinated several ways to celebrate and support the inclusive culture we are building at Seismic.
Earlier this year, we shared an update on our mission, vision, and values. This month, three values rang loud and proud:
- We are inclusive
- We are vulnerable
- We seek to understand
These values were important to us this month as they guided our conversations throughout Pride. We created space for LGBTQIA+ colleagues and allies to share their stories and how we can all help build a more inclusive culture.
We also hosted Pride-themed lunches at select Seismic offices around the globe, creating space for conversations about Pride Month and supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses in our local communities.
As an organization, each week we spotlight one of our team members. During the month of June, we highlighted members of our LGBTQIA+ Community of Belonging. When asked what Pride means to them, here’s what they had to say:
“Pride means liberty to me. It means that I get to be who I am and celebrate those in my community who fought and continue to fight for my right to exist without persecution.” – Sergio Toranzo | Senior Solution Consultant I
“For me, Pride means being comfortable in your own skin and creating a safe space for positivity in the community, so that everyone feels welcome and free to be who they are.” Chris DiPasquale | Senior Proposal Manager I
“Not having to hide who you are. Being safe to be yourself in society.” – Abigail Nail | Senior Software Engineer I
Highlights: Why allyship is important
Earlier this year, Deloitte released a report, LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work: A Global Outlook. The report surveyed 600 members of the LGBT+ community who work in a variety of diverse sectors around the world. In the study, 80% of respondents reported that their employers have introduced LGBT+ inclusion actions and initiatives, with 95% believing that this has led to meaningful support for LGBT+ employees across the organization.
With that research in mind, four Seismic employees hosted a panel discussion about the importance of allyship. According to Deloitte’s report, respondents cited allyship as a critical element for enabling LGBT+ employees to feel comfortable in their workplaces. Nearly 40% of respondents noted that allies who speak out against non-inclusive behaviors and who listen and learn from their LGBT+ colleagues can help foster more LGBT+ inclusive work environments.
During the discussion, panelists were asked why they identify as an ally. Seismic Global Vice President of Strategic Alliances Preseetha Pettigrew stated that “as a minority, we understand the struggles and challenges that other minority groups go through. I’ve experienced struggles in the past and people supported me and that’s always been appreciated.”
Regional Vice President of Sales James Palmer also shared his opinion on allyship and the importance of combating microaggressions. “I think allyship is slightly different inside and outside the workplace. Inside the workplace, it starts with the belief that everyone has the right to come to work and feel happy, safe, and respected – and there’s absolutely no reason for that not to be the case.”
Deloitte’s study also found that 42% of LGBT+ respondents reported experiencing non-inclusive behaviors at work. We asked our panelists to discuss the best way to address these behaviors and other microaggressions in the workplace.
Seismic Commercial Account Executive Derek Harvey responded “I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t experienced a ton of microaggressions. I think of things that people used to say and how it’s shifted in how acceptable they are. Over the years, I’ve gotten more comfortable with saying ‘hey, that’s not cool to say or standing up when I’m seeing other people being mistreated. It doesn’t need to be a big issue.”
Pride doesn’t end on June 30. We plan to celebrate Pride in the months to come. In July, Seismic Pride Alliance will host a panel discussion with our Parents and Guardians Community of Belonging to discuss how we can support our LGBTQIA+ youth, friends, and family.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can support LGBTQIA+ youth, please visit the Trevor Project website. You can also visit the Seismic swag store, AfterShock, to purchase a Seismic Pride t-shirt – all proceeds will benefit the Trevor Project.