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How To Celebrate Pride at Work

What These 11 Companies Are Doing to Celebrate Pride & Support The LGBTQ+ Community

With Pride Month in full swing, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the LGBTQ+ communities at PowerToFly and our partner companies.

Here's how 11 of our partner companies are fostering inclusivity and celebrating Pride - this month, and all year round.


1. Build a Culture of Belonging & Authenticity - Autodesk

Why are you proud to work at Autodesk?

"At Autodesk, our culture is built around a sense of belonging and authenticity. I am proud to work here because there is no expectation to fit into a box, and endless support for being your truest self in all aspects of your life."

- Charlotte Hollingsworth, Autodesk LUMA Program Specialist

How does Autodesk's Pride Network support LGBTQ+ employees?

Autodesk Pride Network supports a positive working environment in which LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable and valued, and can contribute to their full potential.

Learn more about Autodesk and their open roles here.

2. #BeYourself - Dell

Why are you proud to work at Dell EMC?

"I am proud to work at Dell because working here provides the environment to be open about who I am. Dell has given me the strength and empowerment to stand up, have a voice, and be a leader in our Pride Employee Resource Group. This is the first employer in my career that I have been able to be totally comfortable and feel supported." #beyourself #Iwork4Dell

- Gabe Rodarte- Miller, Talent Acquisition Sales Recruiter and North America Dell Pride ERG Culture Lead

How is Dell celebrating Pride?

"Diversity is the fabric of Dell Culture Code. It's not what we do, but it's who we are. Dell Pride is celebrating Pride Month, not just as an ERG, but as a company. A company that wants to empower everyone to #beyourself, creating a culture where all team members belong and encouraging innovation in new ways."

Learn more about Dell EMC and their open roles here.

3. Show Compassion and a Desire To Learn - Symantec

Symantec Employees Marching in the Pride Parade in Pune, India

Sudhanshu Pandit, VP of HR, Sandeep Kanabar, Principal Software Engineer, and C Moulee, Principal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist

Why are you proud to work at Symantec?

"As a queer transgender man I am proud to work at Symantec because I am valued for who I am and what I bring to the table – not any of my identity labels (real or assumed). Because when I transitioned on the job 10 years ago they embraced me fully and were committed to making my process as smooth and easy as possible. Because they have shown compassion and a real desire to learn so that they can do the right thing. Because I started in this company as an antivirus phone technician and am now a Global Program Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This type of internal career change is only possible when a company sees value in developing an employee's natural skills and interests – creating a culture where people can truly feel like they belong. I have pride in Symantec because Symantec has pride in me."

- Cass Averil, Global Program Manager

How is Symantec celebrating Pride?

Symantec has pride and we're excited to let our employees show you how. Our active and engaged LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group is celebrating pride across the globe this year through activities such as: having LGBTQ+ movie screenings, hosting fireside chats with LGBTQ+ leaders, organizing LGBTQ+ history informational campaigns, partnering with local organizations to host workshops around LGTBQ+ inclusion, and walking in pride parades around the globe. We don't just say we have pride, we act on it.

Learn more about Symantec and their open roles here.

4. Celebrate Uniqueness - BuzzFeed

Why are you proud to work at BuzzFeed?

"Celebrating individuality and personal identity is built into the DNA of BuzzFeed. I see it every day when I get to work with a diverse group of brilliant creatives who make content that not only connects with a massive global audience, but also represents and celebrates their uniqueness."

- Tommy Wesely, executive sponsor of OUT NY

How is BuzzFeed celebrating Pride?

BuzzFeed's OUT ERGs in LA and NY are sponsoring Pride Month happy hours for the office and are coordinating meet-ups at various citywide parades and festivities. OUT NY is also sponsoring a party with Twitter & BuzzFeed to celebrate AM2DM's weekly Pride Episodes throughout June.

Learn more about BuzzFeed and their open roles here.

5. Take Pride in Yourself - L3 Technologies

L3 lives by the motto, "Pride in ourselves. Pride in our company. Pride in our community."

How Does Pride3 Support LGBTQ+ employees?

"Pride3 unifies and celebrates L3 CSW's LGBTQ+ employee base by providing a safe and welcoming environment through education, development, recruiting, and resources to advance our personal and corporate success."

Learn more about L3 and their open roles here.

6. Bring Your Authentic Self to Work - Yelp

Why are you proud to work at Yelp?

Because I can bring my authentic self to work every day.

- Shannon S., Technical Recruiter at Yelp

Yelp supports the LGBTQ+ community year round with their OUTburst ERG.

Learn more about Yelp and their open roles here.

7. Build a Community of Tolerance, Acceptance, and Education - Zynga

Why are you proud to work at Zynga?

"My time at Zynga is spent driving marketing moments for one of our largest forever franchise games in the Zynga portfolio. While marketing is a passion of mine, being able to lead the zPRIDE ERG at Zynga has allowed me to focus on driving change for my community and lead initiatives that can improve the experience for all LGBTQ+ Zyngites. An additional win is the ability to drive conversation and assist in educating allies on the LGBTQ+ topics that often aren't discussed and how they affect the community. The ability to be involved and provide value outside of my day to day role is why I love working at Zynga!"

- Giuliano Formilan

Can you tell us more about zPRIDE and how you're celebrating?

zPRIDE is an inclusive LGBTQ+ employee resource group at Zynga focused on building a community of tolerance, acceptance, and education around LGBTQ+ topics that support the Zynga workforce. Activities zPRIDE is currently working on are building community relations with organizations such as Equality California and HRC, professional development and internal policy opportunities, along with education for allies of the community around LGBTQ+ topics.

Learn more about Zynga and their open roles here.

8. Express Yourself & Speak Up About What Can Be Done Better - Vrbo

Why are you proud to work at Vrbo?

"I'm proud to work at a company where I feel comfortable to express myself and encouraged to also speak up when I feel like there are ways we can continue to improve our culture."

– Juliana Leon, Software Engineer

Can you tell us more about the Vrbo Pride affinity group?

Vrbo Pride is an inclusive group of employees who identify with or are supportive of LGBTQ+ issues. The Vrbo Pride affinity group encourages employees to bring their full, authentic self to work, allowing for a safe and inclusive working environment that enables people to perform at their best. This group gives a voice to, and advocates for, the LGBTQIA+ members of our workplace and welcomes allies. Vrbo Pride also creates possibilities for networking and community within a safe and supportive work environment

It aims to:

  • Foster an environment of inclusion, safety, and understanding at Vrbo.
  • Provide an anchor in the community to advocate and educate our colleagues at Vrbo and in those in our local communities.
  • Promote diversity and recognize the value each person brings to the Vrbo team.
  • Attract and retain a diverse workforce.
  • Give back to the Austin community through service projects, hosting events at our offices, and other inclusive activities.

What are some of the activities that the Vrbo Pride affinity group participates in?

  • Partnered with Maven, a non-profit that empowers LGBTQ Youth through tech, to host 20 students at Vrbo to introduce them to a career in technology
  • Hosted the Startout HackOut Hackathon, one of the only LGBTQ hackathons in the country
  • Participates in the Austin Pride Parade annually
  • Organizes and participates in panels and important discussions about diversity

What's something the Vrbo affinity group has done that you're really proud of?

The group worked with our Facilities team in the planning and design of our new office. There are gender neutral bathrooms available on every other floor to provide a better experience for our transgender and non-binary employees.

How is Vrbo celebrating Pride?

  • Vrbo Pride is displaying historical LGBTQ+ figures and facts around the office to educate and inform employees
  • Expedia Cares, Expedia Group's global philanthropy and corporate social responsibility program, declared June Pride month with double-matching on LGBTQIA donations
  • Vrbo has updated our social media avatars with a rainbow Vrbo logo to celebrate Pride
  • Vrbo will once again participate in the Austin Pride Parade that takes place in August
Learn more about Vrbo and their open roles here.

9. Provide an Inclusive Space - Fidelity Investments

Why are you proud to work at Fidelity?

"I am proud to work for Fidelity Investments, a company that not only values employees' individual differences, but celebrates diversity and authenticity. The Fidelity Pride ERG has provided a network and space of inclusivity for both me and my family."

- Jacqui Lucero, Fidelity Pride Employee Resource Group - National Co-Chair

Can you tell us more about Fidelity Pride?

Fidelity Pride is more than a connection to other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies at Fidelity. Our work impacts the entire business, providing guidance on reaching new LGBTA markets and influencing our consumer campaigns. We're an engine of change, a force for continuing acceptance and a powerful light, helping members gain visibility for developmental and leadership opportunities. Here, you can network, support other LGBTA organizations, mentor and reach your full potential – all while being uniquely you. This is the very definition of pride.

Learn more about Fidelity and their open roles here.

10. Make Respect a Core Company Value - Raytheon

Why are you proud to work at Raytheon?

"I'm proud to work for company that values its employees and has shown visible support of LGBTQ people again and again, not only within the company but out in the communities where we live."

- Sr. Mgr

"I love working for Raytheon where leadership and company values require that you treat all people with respect. I'm judged based on my work, not who I am married to. Working for Raytheon has enabled me to be very productive and much more successful in my career because I can bring my whole self to work."

- Director

"I am proud to work at Raytheon because of the importance of the work we do, the commitment our senior leadership demonstrates regarding diversity & inclusion, and the personal support I feel in bringing my entire self to work every day."

- Vice President

Learn more about Raytheon and their open roles here.

11. Do It Every. Single. Day. - Cloudflare

Why are you proud to work at Cloudflare?

"The best part of working at Cloudflare is that I get to be myself at work, not just during Pride, but every day of the year."

- Elisa Durrette, Head of Legal - Commercial Transactions, Cloudflare

Can you tell us more about Proudflare?

Cloudflare's LGBTQIA+ group is Proudflare. This group supports and provides resources for the LGBTQIA+ community both within and outside of Cloudflare to ensure the company is a welcoming and an inclusive place for all. Some activities include:

  • Organizing and hosting discussion events, monthly lunches, external mixers, and pride celebrations at its headquarters in San Francisco as well as offices around the globe.
  • Publishing LGBTQIA+ stories on Cloudflare's blog.
  • Participating in pride celebrations and marches.
  • Volunteering at local LGBTQIA+ community centers.
  • Sponsoring events and conferences such as Lesbians Who Tech (LWT) San Francisco, and LWT Austin.

Learn more about Cloudlfare and their open roles here.

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Why Female Presidential Candidates Are Still Told to Be Chill, Not Shrill

The Dated, Everyday Tech Stifling Women's Voices Shows the Importance of Diversity in Tech

"You're not like other girls. You're so...chill."

I've gotten that "compliment" from multiple guys in multiple contexts — and I'm ashamed to admit that until a few years ago, I took it as one.

Occasionally I'd wonder why. After all, anyone who knows me well knows I am the Anti-Chill: a tightly wound stress ball, ready to explode into tears at any given moment.

So what was giving these guys the wrong impression? As it turns out, it was my voice. My cool, unnaturally-deep-for-a-woman, never-shrill voice.

And if I'm honest, I always prided myself on not sounding 'like other girls.' No uptalk or high-pitched squeals of glee from me. I thought I sounded smarter and more serious. Talk about internalized misogyny.

This isn't just me though. There is a societal double bind that forces women to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the right pitch and tone for each situation.

Just consider the advice that Democratic-debate coach Christine Jahnke gave female candidates to avoid being labeled as shrill: "… go slow and low. Very purposefully slow your pace and lower the tone a bit, because that will add meaning or gravitas to whatever it is you're talking about."

In a nutshell: try and sound chill, not shrill.

What I didn't know, until recently, is how this bias against women's natural voices is being reinforced and amplified by century-old technology. (Just one of many examples of how technology designed by and for men ends up hurting women in the long-run.)

Author Tina Tallon explains this little-known fact in her recent New Yorker article, summarized below:

How 20th Century Tech Is Holding 21st Century Women Back

With the rise of commercial broadcast radio in the 1920s, women's voices began getting critiqued. As Tallon explains, station directors asserted that "women sounded 'shrill,' 'nasal,' and 'distorted.'" So when industry standards were set, directors didn't take women's voices into account.

When Congress limited the bandwidth available to each radio station in 1927, station directors set a bandwidth that would provide the minimum amount of information necessary to understand "human" speech.

They used lower voices as their benchmark, so the higher frequency components of women's speech necessary to understand certain consonants were cut, making women's voices less intelligible.

  • Researcher J.C. Steinberg asserted that, "nature has so designed woman's speech that it is always most effective when it is of soft and well-modulated tone." He explained that if a woman raised her voice on air, it would exceed the limitations of the equipment. As Tallon says, "He viewed this as a personal and biological failing on women's part, not a technical one on his."

Why You Should Care

Women have always been told to lower their voices, but this 20th century approach to sound frequencies is still accepted as the standard, literally forcing women to lower their voices if they want to be heard.

  • To this day, many algorithms and speakers distort women's speech by limiting higher frequencies, causing women's voices to lose definition and clarity.

Tallon sums it up well:

"Consequently, women are still receiving the same advice that they were given in the nineteen-twenties: lower the pitch of your voice, and don't show too much emotion. By following that advice, women expose themselves to another set of criticisms, which also have a long history: they lack personality, or they sound 'forced' and 'unnatural.'"


----

So as we continue to grapple with implicit biases against women, from what it means to be "presidential" to who's considered an "innovative leader," let's remember the importance of diversity in tech.

Had a woman been involved in researching/setting the standards for radio frequencies, she might've been able to steer the industry towards a voiceband that would allow men and women to be heard equally well. And perhaps had a more impartial voiceband been established, I'd have heard a more diverse range of female speakers growing up, and internalized fewer biases myself.

That's why we care so much at PowerToFly about making sure cutting-edge companies have diverse teams.

Times were different then, sure, but the fact that Depression Era standards are still impacting how we hear (or don't hear) women's voices is a vital reminder that what we do today impacts our world for centuries to come.

Agree?

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