Back in April of 2019 Pendo committed to sponsor the Bay to Breakers race, a San Francisco cultural staple filled with playful and colorful celebrants cheering on both runners and the inclusive values that make that city what it is. Although Pendo is headquartered in Raleigh, NC, this celebration of inclusivity speaks to us as well, which is why we elected to sponsor both the 2019 and 2020 races.
The 2019 race went off without a hitch. Then came COVID, and the balance of our sponsorship of the 2020 race was rolled forward until, well, this Sunday, May 15th. Leading up to this race, we’ve read the news, first about political donations that seem misaligned with the inclusive values associated with the race, and subsequently about uneven treatment of non-binary runners.
As the CMO of Pendo, part of my budget goes to funding sponsorships that align with Pendo’s own core values. As the executive sponsor of the company’s GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities) affinity group, I spend meaningful time learning from my colleagues what it means to be an ally to folks across the gender spectrum. Supporting an event that doles out uneven treatment based on gender identity is incompatible with both of those roles and, critically, it’s incompatible with Pendo itself.
This is why Pendo is going to no-show the event in our sponsorship capacity. Initially we considered sending our recruiting team there in our popular “Pendo Means Love” t-shirts, but after the latest story, we think it’s a bolder statement to simply not show up at all.
To those running, cheering, partying (and maybe all three), we’re with you. Preserve what this day is all about by the way you show up. We’ll be celebrating with you as fellow participants or in spirit. That’s what it’s all about anyway.
Oh, and since the winner of the non-binary class apparently won’t receive an official award, we’re happy to offer up, as an unofficial prize, a collection of all of our GSRM group’s gear. Just write to me after the race and we’ll set you up.