How 3 Boston Tech Companies Are Celebrating Pride

Nuance, Workhuman and Rightpoint share their initiatives for the month of June — and beyond.

Written by Erik Fassnacht
Published on Jun. 03, 2021
How 3 Boston Tech Companies Are Celebrating Pride
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When it comes to celebrating Pride, Boston has a deep and important history.

The first Pride march in Boston took place in 1971 — one year after the original march in New York City — and included important political locations around the city, including Jacque’s drag bar in the Bay Village and the State House on Beacon. 

Elaine Nobel, elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1974, became the first openly gay state representative in United States’ history, and served two terms for Boston’s Fenway-Kenmore and Back Bay neighborhoods.

More recently, Massachusetts became the first state in America to legalize same-sex marriage — and just the sixth jurisdiction in the world — thanks to legal actions taken by Boston’s GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). The Equality Forum recognized Mary Bonauto, the openly gay lead counsel who successfully argued the Massachusetts Supreme Court case, as one of the top 31 LGBTQ+ icons in history.

With that context in mind, it’s important to note that celebrating Pride isn't reserved for history books. It should be acknowledged in local communities, at schools and in the workplace environment as well. Below, we spoke with three local tech companies who are embracing inclusion, educating employees and honoring the people, the history and the meaning of Pride.

 

Workhuman Pride Pics
workhuman

John Leahy is a marketing finance manager at Workhuman, a platform for cloud-based, human capital workplace management solutions. This June, Leahy and his colleagues at Workhuman are celebrating Pride in a variety of ways, including workshops, a 5K, a bake-along competition, and a series of Slack and social media messages that highlight LGBTQIA+ individuals, allies and heroes.

 

How is Workhuman celebrating Pride throughout the month of June? 

So many ways! Working remotely has given us the opportunity to become so much better at planning and ensuring we’re connected across our two headquarters in the U.S. and Ireland. We have a calendar packed with events that center around themes of education, celebration and connection. 

We kicked things off virtually with a Pride 101 Workshop on June 1, which looks at the history of Pride and how it has morphed over the decades since 1969. In conjunction with our Parents at Workhuman employee resource group, we’re planning another workshop focused on how to make life at home more inclusive. 

Toward the end of June, we’re having a sure-to-be-hilarious bake-along competition with Irish comedian Gearoid Farrelly. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing messages that highlight important LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies, as well as their own personal heroes.

 

Beyond the month of June, what are some examples of ways Workhuman supports or advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community?

Beyond Pride month, Workhuman supports the LGBTQIA+ community by including two non-profit organizations, The Trevor Project and ShoutOut, in our recognition platform. Employees are able to make contributions to support those organizations and the great work they’re doing each day through advocacy and education in the United States or in Dublin, Ireland.

Nearly 20 percent of the company attended the LGBTQIA+ visibility in the workplace workshop.

 

How does Workhuman support and empower the LGBTQIA+ members of your team? 

We formally founded our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group Sparkle (an acronym that stands for Supporting Pride, Awareness & Recognition with Knowledge: LGBTQIA+ Employees & Allies) back at the beginning of 2020. Both the response to our initial pitch for the group and the subsequent support we’ve received has been phenomenal. Our Human Experience team is constantly looking for ways to include our group, promote the work we are doing, and elevate our voices and experience across the company. All of our colleagues are incredibly engaged in all the discussions, events, and ideas we have. For example, over 120 humans — or nearly 20 percent of the company — attended the LGBTQIA+ visibility in the workplace workshop. 

              

Nuance Pride Celebration
nuance

Pepper Fee is a senior visual and production designer at Nuance, a platform for conversational artificial intelligence. This June, he says that Nuance has shifted its focus during Pride from celebration to community impact, with a variety of powerful initiatives in place.

 

How is Nuance Communications celebrating Pride throughout the month of June? 

This year, Nuance Pride is putting an extra emphasis on what we can do to support our larger communities. We’ve shifted our focus from celebration to impact. We’re creating resource guides for employees who want to learn more about everything from LGBTQ+ history to how they can be more effective allies. We’ll be sharing educational information in our monthly Network (ERG) meetings as well as on our company intranet to ensure broad access. Our members have already started sharing their own stories of self-discovery, acceptance and growing into their authentic selves there as well. With their permission, we’ll also be sharing those stories on our social media channels so that we can highlight employee experiences and connect with new audiences. To support those who have been most affected by the pandemic, we will also be continuing our tradition of donating to organizations like the Trevor Project, PFLAG and the Cascade AIDS Project. At Nuance, one of our core values is using our privilege for good. That’s why this year especially, Pride at Nuance means giving back to those who need it the most.

This year, Nuance Pride is putting an extra emphasis on what we can do to support our larger communities.

 

Beyond the month of June, what are some examples of ways Nuance supports or advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community?

It’s been a big year for Nuance Pride, our LGTBQ+ Network (ERG). Not only are we ringing in our fifth year at Nuance, but we’re also celebrating a third straight year of receiving a 100% Corporate Equality Index score from the Human Rights Campaign, qualifying us as a 2021 Best Place to Work for LGTBQ+ Equality. And we couldn’t agree more!

 

How does Nuance support and empower the LGBTQIA+ members of your team? 

Our network provides support, visibility and involvement for our LGBTQ+ employees and their allies and engagement with the broader LGBTQ+ community. We sponsor annual LGBTQ+ celebrations and events such as Pride, National Coming Out Day, Transgender Visibility Day, as well as social (now virtual) gatherings. We also host outside speakers from our communities, like members of the Greater Boston PFLAG, to come in and help with educational events and panels. Finally, we are passionate about contributing to the communities that are meaningful to our employees and through the Nuance Foundation, the charitable 501c3 foundation supported by Nuance. 

 

Rightpoint Pride Pictures
Rightpoint

At Rightpoint, an independent customer experience agency, Solutions Architect and Pride ERG Co-Chair Jana Hart says that this June her company will focus on shared experiences such as guest speakers, virtual open houses, listening sessions and exciting partnerships with external Pride organizations.

 

How is Rightpoint celebrating Pride throughout the month of June?

We celebrate Pride during June in a variety of ways. For one thing, we invite a guest speaker to host an all-company meeting and discuss timely topics regarding the LGBTQIA+ experience. We also host a virtual open house info session event for LGBTQIA+ candidates and anyone interested in learning more about Rightpoint's Pride ERG.

Within Rightpoint, we host a company-wide listening and Q&A session to help educate and bring awareness to Pride-related issues. We also announce new partnerships with external Pride organizations, including becoming a member of Qorporate, Out in Tech's Corporate Council.

We have set goals for increasing the inclusion of Pride members at all levels of the company.


Beyond the month of June, what are some examples of ways Rightpoint supports or advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community?

The Pride@Rightpoint Employee Resource Group (ERG) is an employee-driven initiative dedicated to supporting all our team members under the rainbow. This group is focused on making Rightpoint a welcoming and comfortable workplace for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We have set goals for increasing the inclusion of Pride members at all levels of the company, from new hires to management. We are dedicated to earning a score of 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. We also help develop and provide company-wide education and awareness initiatives throughout the year to help team members learn more about the LGBTQIA+ experience.

 

How does Rightpoint support and empower the LGBTQIA+ members of your team? 

The aforementioned Pride@Rightpoint ERG is the primary resource for LGBTQIA+ team members. We provide a safe space to discuss Pride-related issues and topics and actively advocate for our needs with Rightpoint leadership. Pride@RP helps guide the executive DEI council on LGBTQIA+ issues and needs, provides educational resources for employees and allies, and holds events to celebrate and teach the company about Pride.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies.

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