pep’s PRIDE ERG Interview
pep celebrates LGBT+ history month, in style this October! As an organization, we take pride in recruiting a diverse talent pipeline and making it one of the best places to work in Cincinnati. At pep, we value people. “We strive for an environment where everyone feels welcomed, supported, and driven to succeed.” The PRIDE ERG and two project managers, Johnny Bales and Lindsay Gholson, answer a few questions about LGBT+ (history month).
The PRIDE ERG explains why LGBT history month is important…
LGBT history is American history. There are a lot of important events that have happened here that make it important for future generations to understand. By learning about LGBT history, we can acknowledge past mistakes and strive for increased inclusiveness. We still have work to do, but it makes us happy to see how much progress we’ve made as a society over the years. It is important to celebrate and recognize the contributions of the LGBT community, spotlight role models, and understand the history of why we have this dedicated month. It is a time for remembrance, love, and support. LGBT history month is an opportunity to celebrate the growth and inclusiveness of the LGBT community. Celebrating the history of where everything began & witnessing the progression over the years is something that is truly special to be a part of!
PRIDE ERG: From your perspective, what is the benefit to brands being involved in PRIDE?
Johnny & Lindsay: Brands being involved with PRIDE shows that they are inclusive of the LGBT+ community & displays their support for the community in an authentic way. P&G prides itself on diversity & inclusion with an emphasis on internal employee LGBT+ group initiatives. Brand involvement in PRIDE aligns with the company’s values & reminds people that even large-scale corporations have a heart.
PRIDE ERG: What does pep do in relation to PRIDE that makes you proud?
Johnny: Being part of the LGBT community, pep’s backing of Pride initiatives is humbling, supportive, & gives me pride in my company & community. pep has always been inclusive of the LGBT community & encourages PRIDE support internally & with our clients. pep sent me & the project leader of the world pride event, Lindsay Gholson, to World Pride in New York City to not only help with the P&G initiative but to also show support for the community. That experience was one-of-a-kind & showed how much pep cares about pride & the LGBT community.
PRIDE ERG: What is one key learning about PRIDE that you gained from running these programs with your client?
Johnny & Lindsay: pep & P&G both truly value Pride & the LGBT+ community. Showing support really goes a long way, especially when not every company values the LGBT+ community. Being at the World Pride event & surrounded by so much love & support was an incredible & unforgettable experience.
PRIDE ERG: Envision PRIDE in 5 years to 10 years. What do you think it could look like? What do you hope to see at future PRIDE events?
Johnny & Lindsay: Pride events only continue to grow across the nation. I think in the future pride events & support will only continue to grow. I hope to see more minority groups represented & more ally support as acceptance & education of the community rises.
PRIDE ERG: Why did we join the PRIDE ERG at pep?
Erin Schmidt – Co-Chair PRIDE ERG: I joined the PRIDE ERG because I wanted to be a part of a group that fosters and demonstrates a welcoming and safe environment for anyone who walks through our door. I believe strongly that it is right for our people, our community and our business, to value and celebrate each individual for their whole self.
Chelsea Fox – Co-Chair PRIDE ERG: When the PRIDE ERG kicked off, I immediately wanted to be involved! I have many friends & family who identify as LGBT and have always been a strong ally to the community as a whole. Getting involved in the PRIDE ERG has been such an amazing opportunity to continue to support this community alongside my pep peers. Not only do we represent inclusiveness internally at pep, but also strive to partner with outside organizations to push for inclusivity across the board. I believe this truly pushes our company to reach new heights with our clients & within the community!
Afton Palmer – External Impact Chair: I joined the PRIDE ERG because I am more than an ally of this community. I am someone who sees the need of a more inclusive culture while doing whatever I can to make sure that my friends, family, and coworkers get a (fair) chance at opportunities that other people get.
Sarah Dudash – Internal Impact Chair: I joined the PRIDE ERG because I want people at pep to know that I am an ally of the LGBT+ community. Everyone should feel like they can bring their whole selves to work and not have to worry that they might not get treated fairly. Hopefully people at pep feel like the PRIDE ERG offers support and encourages an inclusive environment.