Showing our Pride – Inside the Allies of Pride Employee Resource Group
Introducing Liveops Employee Resource Groups
Allies of Pride
This year, Liveops has taken many steps to further enhance Diversity and Inclusion initiatives within the corporate employee base. The development of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) builds community among employees, providing opportunities to network and support one another in like-minded groups. In honor of PRIDE month, we interviewed Nic Dehaan, Liveops Agent Experience Product Manager, who spearheaded the establishment of the Allies of Pride ERG.
What is the Allies of Pride Employee Resource Group?
Allies of Pride is one of a few different ERGs at Liveops. ERGs were created to provide a place for employees with shared characteristics or experiences to connect, socialize, and work on professional development. One of the side benefits is that we have a lot of fun and learn from each other.
Why is it important to you to have this ERG at your place of work?
ERGs, in general, are a great way to identify employees who want to participate at work in a larger way than what’s defined in their job description. ERGs help identify those individuals who want to develop their skills and, in many cases, develop into leaders. I also think that the Allies of Pride ERG improves visibility and creates awareness and sense of belonging for current employees and new recruits that identify as LGBTQ+.
What are you hoping to accomplish through this program?
We have several defined goals for our Allies of Pride ERG but, very broadly, we want to create a place for members to express themselves and to create awareness with the larger organization on LGBTQ+ issues. It’s all about having fun while driving diversity and inclusion initiatives.
What is something you have learned since launching this ERG?
Wow. I’ve learned A LOT! I think the most significant thing is how important being an ally is to so many people. Most of the folks in our ERG don’t identify as LGBTQ+ but they know or are close to someone who is, and being a part of this ERG is a way for them to demonstrate their support.
Why is diversity important to you?
When we recognize and embrace diversity we’re really removing roadblocks to the most efficient kind of collaboration. Everyone has a stake in creating a better workplace, community and world, and no one group or person has all the answers. We need everyone’s head in the game.
June is Pride Month! What resources are available to people who want to celebrate?
It’s going to be a different Pride year in 2021, that’s for sure. We won’t be celebrating Pride in person until November here in Phoenix due to COVID. However, I recommend that if you can’t celebrate Pride in person, take some time in June to either advocate or educate. There are a ton of lists online of various resources, books, documentaries, charities, non-profits that you can watch, read, or get involved in virtually. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC.org) curates a pretty good selection.
What advice do you have for organizations looking to increase inclusivity and awareness of diversity initiatives in the workplace?
Solid leadership involvement is probably the best way to increase awareness of diversity initiatives. Employees look to their leaders for guidance and if leaders are involved in driving diversity initiatives, the employees will too. Also, I think it’s important for leaders to invest in training that focuses on intercultural communications. We live and work in an increasingly diverse world. Let’s learn how to talk to each other!