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State Street has a strong reputation for being bold and leading change, and we have 225 years of growth and innovation to back it up. But I think that Pride, and the employees who are a part of that network, embody those characteristics in a way that the rest of us often wish we could.
June is Pride Month here in the United States. I am proud that State Street is committed to fostering a work environment where employees can be their authentic selves. And I am proud of the employees who make up our Pride network. Their voices and stories are what inspire the rest of us to fight for a more inclusive and accepting workplaces, cities, states and countries. Here’s a sampling of stories from my colleagues globally.
Andrea Dermody and I worked on launching the Global Ally Program together. We crossed countries, cultures and orientations to build a partnership for all of us at State Street. I was so proud that we managed to start Pride networks where we didn’t have them before and LGBT Ally conversations in some of our most conservative locations. Working together we have managed to reflect each other’s diverse experiences and perspectives in the Global Ally Program and we constantly challenge each other to think differently – true diversity of thought in action.
-Alison Shea and Andrea Dermody
For me, Pride is about showing support for a community I respect and love. I can make someone feel safer by standing with them? Sign me up. I marched in my first Pride Parade last year, and I’ll never forget the love and energy from the crowd. I figured it would be fun, but I had no idea that I’d still be smiling about it a year later.
I decided to attend my first annual pride celebration in 2014 and after meeting some amazing State Streeter’s I realized I had a safe place at work and I could come out of the closet professionally. The end result was a new me. By coming out professionally I have been able to bring my whole self to work and become an openly gay leader. The icing on the cake is by far the amazing relationships I’ve been able to make with the internal and external community as a result of the presence State Street Pride and Friends has in the organization and in the Boston community.
Pride for me is being my true self – in and out of work. And if it helps even one person feel more comfortable in their skin and not having to hide any part of their identity, I will consider it a job well done!
Being from the Deep South, I grew up in a community with a legacy of linking arms to peacefully overcome systemic barriers to equality. Following in the footsteps of MLK and Rosa Parks, my family and other advocates have worked tirelessly to promote social justice. Pride is a vehicle, a community, a way to stand on the shoulders of giants to keep marching on.
Global Pride & Friends has been instrumental in me accepting myself for who I am. I fell in love here in the most unexpected way. I fell in love with a woman and much to my surprise at the time, it didn’t matter. I largely give credit to Pride for creating a culture in which I could navigate a long and emotionally draining process in an open and honest way. Knowing I had people to support me who could give me advice and kind thoughts for the difficult conversations that were to come - in and outside of work - is a feeling I’ll never forget.
As June winds down, it’s important to remember the spirit of Pride throughout the year. A commitment to being our whole selves in every situation; A belief in equality and justice for all; And to never apologize for who we are. Straight, gay or otherwise, these are tenets that make us all better.
Hannah Grove is our chief marketing officer. She focuses on using technology to help us approach the market in new and different ways. Hannah is currently listening to the Reveal Podcasts and Damien Rice.