Karlis Kirsis on Pride Month
People and Culture | Karlis Kirsis, Senior Vice President, European Chief Legal Officer | June 25, 2021
For me, Pride is about a culture of inclusion that allows everyone to bring their real, true self to the office and perform at their best. It’s about creating an office, warehouse or cross-dock environment where everyone feels comfortable and knows they’re respected and safe in their workplace.
June is Pride Month – it’s the perfect time to communicate our continued commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate the ways we are different, but also better, together.
We’ve launched our LGBTQ+ Employees and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG), one of eight groups designed to help build deeper relationships in our workplaces. We’re also in the process of selecting our board of directors for the ERG. As the group’s executive sponsor, I’m excited to support and advocate for it at the highest levels of the organization. It’s a great opportunity for us to elevate different voices and perspectives from all parts of our team. I’d like to help ensure that when we think about what inclusion means to the LGBTQ+ community, we are truly listening to our team members and designing initiatives that meet their needs.
The overall level of interest in our LGBTQ+ ERG has been very high. Our team members are eager to build important programs and foster open conversations. In addition to our LGBTQ+ ERG, we’re also involved in several partnerships with external organizations, including:
- Lesbians Who Tech: As a corporate sponsor, we support a professional community of LGBTQ women, non-binary and transgender individuals with a deep focus and passion for technology (and the people who support them).
- PFLAG: We’re a corporate sponsor of the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, their parents, families and allies. PFLAG has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters across the US. It’s committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated, and all people are respected.
We’ve also launched several training courses for our employees, including “Stepping Forward Together: Becoming an Effective Ally” and “The Everyday Leader: Building a Culture of Inclusion.” These were translated into multiple languages to reach our global workforce, and both focus on becoming an ally: a person who takes an active interest in learning about and advocating for individuals with different identities and experiences.
Our support of Pride isn’t only about members of our company who may self-identify as LGBTQ+. It’s also about their allies and the wonderful things members of the community do to express their support and communicate a desire for an open and inclusive work environment that benefits everyone.
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