Pride: It’s more than just a month
- Posted on July 13, 2018
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
At Avanade, we believe LGBT+ inclusion is good for business. It drives innovation by harnessing the power of diverse thinking, and brings value and informed perspectives through deeper insight. It’s something we’re proud of – and not just during Pride Month.
The importance of avoiding labels
By Sheldon Carpenter, Analyst, Scheduling, North America
Growing up in an age where technology has revolutionized culture and influenced the way we define society, it’s easy to get labeled. From the way we speak, to the way we act, the clothes we wear and even the people we associate ourselves with are observed and pigeonholed into categories. It has become such a part of our culture that it has become difficult to shift out of that rut. Unfortunately, it also makes being a member of the LGBT+ community even more trying as you are not only being labeled externally by society in general, but additionally under the LGBT+ community’s own self-invented labels.
Since joining Avanade, I can proudly say that I have not once felt as though I have been labeled or have been seen as part of a category. One of the main reasons I joined Avanade’s Prism LGBT+ Employee Resource Group was so that I could help foster inclusion and help to make this a reality for others – not only across the country, but across the world – particularly in areas where people are unable to bring their most authentic selves to the workplace. Our employee resource groups strive to create a safe space where both allies and members of underserved communities can intersect and discuss the importance of cultivating an inclusive workplace for all, regardless of your race, religion, sexuality, gender or ability.
And I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a bold and passionate group of people who feel the same way.
Encouraging and valuing diversity
By Daniel Conroy, Northeast Talent Community Lead, Business and Technology Integration, North America
Since I last wrote for Avanade’s Prism group a lot has changed. Both personally and politically. After many years of lobbying and fighting, Australia and several other countries have passed same-sex marriage laws, and I have married my now husband, whom I have been with for 15 years.
Same-sex marriage laws have an enormous impact on the mood of society, but also have personal and even professional impacts that stretch beyond the obvious. Late last year, I applied for and was awarded a role with Avanade in New York. Without the changes to the marriage act, many same-sex couples are prevented from being granted spouse visas, and as such can have their careers limited purely by the sex of their partner.
Where we are
During Pride Month and Avanade’s Ally Week the mood was celebratory. It is wonderful working for a company that encourages and values diversity, that encourages us to bring our whole selves to work, and supports and participates in progressive, inclusive practices that are in line with our values to be at the forefront of innovation and to be a leader in the market.
Where we’re going
However, many of our LGBT peers still live in oppression. Companies still need to issue LGBT-specific warnings and guidelines to travelers who go to certain parts of the world where diversity and inclusion is not as highly valued. The fight is not over.