While Glia celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) every month, we place a special emphasis on LGBTQ+ rights in June as we commemorate the Stonewall Riots that launched a global movement back in 1969. As part of our Glia Voices blog series, we asked our employees what LGBTQ+ Pride means to them and the importance of an inclusive workplace. (Note that this is a longer blog because so many people wanted to participate and of course we want to include them all!)
Nathalie Alfandary is a Sales Engineer who joined Glia in December 2021:
Pride is both a celebration of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and a recognition that there is still so far to go. There are still people around the world who are rejected or attacked just for being who they are. An important part of Pride is to give hope to those who don’t see a brighter future for themselves. It’s a way to celebrate for those who are able to be who they want to be, without judgment, and to bring comfort and safety to those who still struggle.
Be proud of who you really are. If you aren’t there yet, that’s ok. Just keep working towards loving the magical, fabulous, wonderful human that is you! Find a community and a work environment that nurtures you, and grow from there. Glia makes sure everyone is welcomed, no matter what.
Justin DiPietro is the Chief Strategy Officer who co-founded Glia in June 2012:
I am proud that Glia embraces diversity and has been inclusive to LGBTQ+ employees and candidates from the very beginning. We continuously strive for a work environment where everyone is comfortable in their own skin and is free to express themselves openly. In fact, we value all voices and encourage active involvement.
I actually live near the Stonewall Inn and pass by regularly. I think about the activists who spoke out and sparked the riot in 1969, and how their voices transformed human rights around the globe. We embrace that spirit at Glia and celebrate Pride and diversity.
Anastasiya Vardin is a People Ops Specialist who joined Glia in October 2021:
For me, LGBTQ+ Pride means celebrating diversity; celebrating and being accepting of everyone as they are and as they wish to be. With this, I think Glia, alongside our brilliant DEI committee, does a stellar job at constantly ensuring we are inclusive, accepting, and welcoming of everyone, and that’s incredibly inspiring. At the end of the day, all of our Glianeers leave an impactful and meaningful mark on the company and Glia gives them the space to do so comfortably.
Chris McManus is a Content Manager who joined in June 2021:
Pride for me is about appreciating the large and growing community under the LGBTQ+ banner and how we collectively push for human rights and a better world. That very much includes our many allies and friends. From the Stonewall Riots in New York City to the fight for trans equality today, I’m proud of our community’s activism and very optimistic for a future that is, in part, shaped by our inclusive LGBTQ+ family.
Arthur Bouie is the Director of Sales Engineering and founder of Glia’s DEI Committee who joined in August 2018:
Working in multiple industries as a black gay man, I’ve often been used to demonstrate hiring diversity for a culture, while also being asked to code switch on the fly to avoid making others feel discomfort in my presence when I’m being authentic. My hope and goal every June is to remind others that diversity and Pride aren’t simply “boxes to be checked” to make bosses and the board happy. It is a meaningful subject that should be handled with care and consideration.
To that end, an inclusive workplace is extremely important. Closing the gap of understanding and attaining full acceptance of LGBTQ+ people will not come from legislation or judicial decisions alone, but by creating a culture where LGBTQ+ people are embraced and respected. That is why I work with Glia to help grow a culture that continues to embrace all.
Gina Mannino is an Enterprise Account Executive and joined Glia in February 2022:
I love nothing more than to see people be their authentic selves, without fear of judgment and to feel the embrace and acceptance of our common humanity. I’m very proud to be part of a company that embraces diversity and includes LGBTQ+ colleagues. It shows that the company accepts and values people for who they are. It is a sign that we, as Glianeers, believe in inclusivity vs exclusivity, and have created a culture where every individual feels safe and respected.
Jenna Price is an Enterprise Customer Success Manager who joined Glia in June 2021:
LGBTQ+ Pride means recognizing differences with respect and embracing people for who they are. Having a workplace that embraces diversity and includes LGBTQ+ colleagues is highly important! Diversity has no limits and a supportive workplace brings people together—ultimately fireproofing our culture. Everybody is important and everyone deserves to feel included.
Cornelia Tšaplōgin is an Engineering Manager who joined Glia in November 2021:
LGBTQ+ Pride means freedom to express oneself with a determination to work towards equal rights and the inclusion of everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has a unique culture and rich history, which is something to be proud of.
It is crucial that my workplace is diverse. Companies that do not acknowledge LGBTQ+ Pride and choose to ignore it are part of the problem. Seeing an email about our Pride Month Trivia event brought a smile to my face. I’m so happy that we celebrate the rich culture of the LGBTQ+ community. Celebrating Pride in June is awesome, but let’s not forget to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community for the remaining 11 months as well.