Pride Month has evolved into a global cause to commemorate decades of struggle for civil rights and equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. In the United States, the organized pursuit of gay rights reaches back to at least 1924. However, the most notable event, the Stonewall Riots (also called the Stonewall Uprisings), accelerated the gay rights movement in June 1969.
Here at Pendo, our Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities (GSRM) affinity group reverberates the meaning of Pride, not only in June, but in their daily contributions to Pendo. That begins with honoring the authenticity of each and every member of the LGBTQ community. For Pride Month this year, the group is kicking off an annual theme of “Be You, Be Bold.” Through educational sessions, community events, an annual fundraiser, and a platform-wide logo change during the last week of June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, we will celebrate authenticity and encourage greater acceptance and support for all.
Pendo understands that honoring who you are unlocks the power to use your voice, to drive innovation, and to pave the way for the generations to come.
Here’s how our employees live authentically at Pendo:
Chief People Officer Kelli Dragovich shares: “As an executive who identifies as LGBTQ+, Pride to me means lifting up others who both identify and are allies to the LGBTQ+ community. When I was young, I can say openly now that I wasn’t exactly proud—I was nervous and unsure. That was not a good feeling. The best feeling in life, no matter how you identify or who you are, is to feel safe and supported for being yourself, not to merely be accepted. This is what Pride means to me and how I try to support others daily.”
S. Israel, a software engineer, shares: “I’ve been genderfluid my whole life. I just didn’t know what to call it. It wasn’t until after college that I started recognizing the negative impact that suppressing my gender identity questions was having. I didn’t start my transition in earnest until I started at Pendo. With a fresh start and a safe, welcoming space I switched over my name and pronouns here. It was so validating and successful that I broadened it to the rest of my life in short order. Since then, I’ve legally changed my name and have started on physical and medical transition to get to a place where I can feel happiest.”
Kelly Leeman, an engineering manager, shares: “I came out in ‘95 and there was very little, if any, support in the workplace. It has been truly awesome to see how groups like our GSRM have evolved. I love working at a place where I can be my most authentic self and support others in the same way. Being able to share our stories at work, helps change the minds of our society. In 2015, after 20 years of being openly gay, the Supreme Court gave me the right to marry. I’m getting married next March!”.
SVP of Talent JR Rettig says: “I have been out at work for over 20 years and haven’t looked back on a day or time since with any regret. I have been fortunate enough to work for many companies all along my journey that value and have made internal and external commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have seen a lot of progress in my work life and personal life but I do remember and have friends that spent much of their career in the closet, afraid and not able to be their full, authentic selves. I see them thriving today as out LGBTQ professionals, leaders of industry. I am proud of and happy for them.”
We will celebrate and share more stories like these over the course of this year. Here are the initiatives we have planned for Pride Month and beyond.
During Pride Month, we will:
- Change our logo to incorporate a Pride flag in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots. The logo change will happen June 27-30.
- Host a session to show employees how to uplift LGBTQ+ voices and to encourage psychological and emotional safety for our LGBTQ+ Pendozers with our mental well-being partner, Modern Health.
- Advocate in our communities by sponsoring Run for Love in Raleigh, volunteering at Beit Dror, a temporary home for girls and boys of the LGBTQ+ community in Israel, and raising money for The Trevor Project.
- Celebrate Pride by hosting drag shows in Raleigh and San Francisco for our employees to enjoy.
Beyond June, we will continue to:
- Showcase the stories of employees in Pendo’s GSRM community across our corporate channels.
- Host monthly discussions about issues facing the GSRM community.
- Expand our representation data to include representation of members who identify and voluntarily self-ID as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Source a diverse pipeline of candidates by working with Queer Hacks at UNC- Chapel Hill and other partner organizations in our hub cities.
How are you “Being You, Being Bold”? Learn more about Pendo’s DEI initiatives by checking out our DEI Annual Report.
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