Pride is the predominant outlook that bolsters the equality movement. While every day should be a celebration of pride and an opportunity to honor and embrace the uniqueness of who you are, Pride Month is a very special time for the LGBTQ+ community, including here at Maven Wave.
Held every June, Pride Month recognizes the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community and commemorates its incredible diversity. During this historic year, flags of pride are waving extra high across America in response to the White House’s proclamation and official acknowledgment of this significant month and the host of executive orders related to LGBTQ+ equality signed within President Biden’s first hundred days in office.
And although great strides have been made, there’s still much work to be done — so that, worldwide, every member of the LGBTQ+ community is accepted and celebrated for who they are.
Currents of Change
At Maven Wave, we’re committed to creating a safe environment where all employees feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and pride. Fostering that safe space is a critical part of the culture, creativity, and technological innovation of our company. That’s why we’ve invested heavily in diversity and inclusion efforts, including employee communities spearheaded by a dedicated and diverse group of Mavens.
One of those communities, Wavelength, has been making a splash this Pride Month — and every month — by elevating LGBTQ+ education, awareness, and visibility here at Maven Wave, throughout our community, and the world.
Wavelength: Rising Above the Tide
What is Wavelength? Wavelength, Maven Wave’s community for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ employees and allies, is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that increases LGBTQ+ visibility and equality in the workplace. Launched in 2019, Wavelength is run by a group of Maven Wave team members, including:
- Mark Simak, Change Management Lead
- Kieran Welsh-Phillips, People Business Partner
- Duc Dao, Delivery Lead
- Trevor Wilson, Managing Director, Enterprise Collaboration
- Aisha Lewit, Organizational Change Management Team Lead
Wavelength has established a solid set of goals to not only boost awareness of LBGTQ+ issues, but to foster a passionate and inclusive environment that increases LGBTQ+ visibility in the workplace and enables the recruitment and retention of LGBTQ+ individuals.
During its first year, Wavelength hosted in-person networking events and attended Pride Month festivities and LGBTQ+ community fundraisers. Since the pandemic, the group created an external virtual speaker series, expanded its membership, and leveraged its expertise in technology to continue its mission during lockdowns.
In addition, Wavelength’s “Read, Watch, Listen List,” a quarterly LGBTQ+ recommended media list available to all Mavens, was developed to support its education, awareness, and visibility goal. On this quarter’s list, you will find music from pansexual artist Janelle Monae, TV series Schitt’s Creek, a Slate podcast that looks at comparisons between the COVID-19 pandemic and AIDS with Alphonso David, President of the HRC, and more.
Reshaping the Conversation During Challenging Times
As Pride Month approached, the Wavelength team decided to build on the success of its first virtual speaker series by hosting discussions and activities to celebrate and recognize this special month. These events included insightful and thought-provoking weekly coffee chats providing a safe place where all Mavens can speak openly about key topics affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
The coffee chats culminated with a session led by Kenrick Ross, Executive Director at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), sharing information around one of the most critical topics today: The Intersectionality of AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) and LGBTQ+ Communities in this Moment. Wavelength leaders hosted other Pride Month coffee chats, and the topics included:
- The History of Pride Month & the Equality Movement
- Active Allyship in the LGBTQ+ Community
- Transgender Rights
- Conversations at Home – Speaking with Children about Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation
Since joining Maven Wave, our newly appointed Head of Cloud Enterprise Services NA & Emerging Markets, Sr. Managing Partner, John Cipolla, has already made an impact by reaffirming Maven Wave’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Cipolla has greatly supported Wavelength’s efforts and has been very active in our Pride Month celebration.
After joining one of the coffee chats, he sent a shout-out to the Wavelength team stating, “I want to thank Wavelength for the inspiring coffee chats we had. I am super excited to be part of an extraordinary company where inclusion and acceptance are part of the core values. We had great conversations, and the enthusiasm was infectious! I look forward to seeing this team continue and infuse that great spirit to build upon our Maven Wave brand.”
Beyond Pride Month
Pride Month may be coming to an end, but Wavelength’s work has only scratched the surface. Across the country, the month was marked with much-needed conversations, government acknowledgment, and exciting strides, including a Pride Month announcement from the first openly gay active NFL player, Carl Nassib, Defensive End for the Las Vegas Raiders. However, at the same time, European Union leaders are issuing a sharp challenge to a new law in Hungary that targets the LGBTQ+ community and violates fundamental human rights.
Globally, the LGBTQ+ gap in the workplace is still wide, especially across the technology sector, which is why, together with our parent company, Atos, Wavelength members are going global with their mission. During WorldPride, held in August, Wavelength’s Duc Dao will join leaders from Atos and a number of global corporations and nonprofit organizations for L’Autre Cercle’s “Odyssee for Equality.”
L’Autre Cercle, a French nonprofit organization promoting an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ professionals, will unite members from 21 countries spanning five continents to elevate its single mission of establishing inclusion in the workplace. Dao will provide insight and work with guest speakers to answer the critical question, “What should the workplace look like for LGBTIQA+ people in 2031?” Taking a particular focus on transgender inclusion in the workplace, Dao and other members will seek to define and understand the transgender experience in the workplace across various ages and stages of the transitional process. Stay tuned for a WorldPride recap on this impactful event.
Now more than ever, it’s vital to advance equality for all by standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Wavelength has empowered us to shed light on critical topics while collaborating to enhance policies and procedures that ensure Maven Wave promotes an inclusive workplace.
As we continue to wave our flags high in the air, we leave you with an inspiring quote from author Cassandra Duffy, “The beauty of standing up for your rights is others see you standing and stand up as well.”
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