Pride Month, celebrated in June in the USA, is upon us. For so many in the LGBTQIA+ community, Pride is a time to celebrate their identities, and also to reflect and contemplate the struggles of the past. Convoy’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), Pride@Convoy is celebrating this month with exciting events for the entire company, while continuing to grow and foster a community within Convoy for LGBTQIA+ employees to shine.
While Slack is the Pride@Convoy ERG’s main hub for members to communicate with one another – sharing stories, advice, pet photos, etc. – the ERG also regularly hosts community events for its members, allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, and Convoy as a whole. These events create spaces for members to discuss the complexities of life as an LGBTQIA+ person and empower the LGBTQIA+ community’s voice in and out of the workplace. Through the ERG’s Slack channel, Pride@Convoy hosts weekly trivia to engage the community, and Music Mondays where ERG members share their favorite tunes. Having regular events like this helps keep casual dialogue going in our current virtual work environment, which helps foster the ERG’s sense of community. Pride@Convoy has over 80 members scattered between Seattle and Atlanta, including remote employees across the rest of the country as well. Pride@Convoy is continually growing and evolving as new colleagues join and contribute their own unique perspectives and stories.
To celebrate Pride Month, the Pride@Convoy ERG is hosting several events for both LGBTQIA+ employees and allies to join in on the fun. On June 2nd, Pride@Convoy hosted a “speed friending” event where employees spent a few minutes over Zoom in a 1:1 conversation with a randomly assigned colleague. They were provided a list of questions to kick off the conversation, ranging from silly to intriguing in order to better get to know each other and foster a sense of community. The event served as a place for many new-to-Convoy ERG members to meet each other face to face despite still working remotely.
Jonathan, a Convoy employee who attended the Speed Friending event, said, “My experience with the speed friending event was AMAZING! I really enjoyed the event because I felt that I was in a safe place and I felt that I was respected as a person. It was a great break from work to just be around individuals who wanted to have a good time and wanted to get to know one another on a more personal level.”
Later in the month, on June 23rd, Pride@Convoy will be hosting a short film watch party with a focus on educational content around issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community and its history. This event is open to everyone and last year’s event drew a crowd. Additionally, The Pride@Convoy ERG council is sending flower growing pride kits out to members who want to participate in a virtual flower planting party toward the end of the month.
To round out the month, on June 30th, the Pride@Convoy council is hosting an LGBTQIA+ improv comedy event, inviting all employees for an evening of laughs, and to continue the celebration of pride month as a team.
For companies looking to start an LGBTQIA+ ERG or any ERG to support your employees, it’s important to have leadership’s buy-in on listening to feedback and vulnerability to hear where improvements need to be made. Pride@Convoy amplifies the LGBTQIA+ community’s voice within Convoy. They do this by having ERG leadership meet bi-weekly to collate feedback to send to Convoy’s People Team about the experiences of LGBTQIA+ employees. The People Team then works directly with ERG leadership when making decisions to ensure the community’s needs are being addressed. For example, the Pride@Convoy leadership council was consulted when Convoy was choosing a healthcare insurance provider to help ensure that LGBTQIA+ employees have access to inclusive healthcare.
It can be challenging at many companies for LGBTQIA+ employees to self-advocate or have a voice as a community. The goal of Pride@Convoy is to foster a mindset of inclusivity in every aspect of the company, as well as help LGBTQIA+ employees communicate their needs in an open environment. People are most creative and productive when they feel included and respected in the workplace – this is the environment the Pride@Convoy ERG strives to create and constantly improve upon. More events and more importantly, more impact, will come from Pride@Convoy throughout 2021 and well beyond.