Meet the San Francisco Companies Uplifting the LGBTQIA+ Community During Pride Month and Beyond

June is a time to celebrate, uplift and support LGBTQIA+ employees. But these five companies have pride all year long.

Written by Magdalene Kioko
Published on Jun. 05, 2023
Meet the San Francisco Companies Uplifting the LGBTQIA+ Community During Pride Month and Beyond
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Pride Month is a time dedicated to uplifting, celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. And with seven percent of the adult population in the U.S. identifying as LGBTQIA+, according to a Gallup survey, there is no shortage of people to celebrate and support. 

 

But how can employers be authentic and stay away from rainbow washing

 

It starts with creating intentional Pride initiatives. This is especially true for Jess Tillis, Director of Global Revenue Operations at Fivetran. 

 

“I’m grateful that Fivetran allocates resources to celebrating Pride Month. I’m exponentially more grateful that Fivetran supports and empowers the LGBTQIA+ community during all months of the year,” Tillis told Built In. 

 

“Carving out 30 days of the year to celebrate an individual community is a solid first step in building a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels empowered — but it can't stop there.”

 

Below, Built In San Francisco spoke to five organizations truly embracing their LGBTQIA+ employees by allocating funding for LGBTQIA+ resource groups, expanding health coverage benefits and donating to locally led community groups.



 

-ACCOUNT NAME: Fivetran

-CONTRIBUTOR INFO: Jess Tillis she/her/hers Director, Global Revenue Operations

-QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:


 

Fivetran is a software platform that provides solutions for automated data movement across a variety of industries. 

 

What activities are Fivetran coordinating for Pride Month? 

 

For Pride Month this year, Fivetran’s Pride ERG will celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community through educational sessions, global happy hours and drag bingo. Fivetran makes this possible by allocating budget to those events. Our Pride ERG leaders are also sharing a Fivetran Pride Spotify playlist and a Pride virtual background. I’m excited to rep both during my June meetings!



 

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


 

I’m proud to work for a company where I feel empowered to bring my whole self to work well beyond the month of June. Fivetran gives us funding and an executive sponsor to help us build community via our Pride employee resource group, creating safe meeting spaces where I feel comfortable talking about what I did last weekend with my wife and elevating speakers and panels to help us normalize the sharing of gender pronouns.

 

As Audre Lorde said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” Being a part of the Fivetran team gives me space and confidence to do just that. We take small steps each day to create that reality.



 

-ACCOUNT NAME: Udemy

-CONTRIBUTOR INFO: Jamie Mentch she/her/hers Manager, Application Security

 

PLEASE ADD THIS PHOTO AS A FULL PHOTO RATHER THAN A HEADSHOT: 



 

Udemy is an edtech company specializing in online video courses for businesses and individuals alike. 

 

What activities are Udemy coordinating for Pride Month?

 

This year, we’re creating a uniform plan for Pride Month for our San Francisco, Dublin and Denver offices. In partnership with the other co-chairs of our employee resource groups — Black Employee Network, Umigos for our Latine and Hispanic Network, Asian Pacific Network, and Women at Udemy — we’re working with our local office leads to create a similar experience for all our employees.

 

Some activities we’re planning include in-person and virtual Pride trivia events for our employees that create learning opportunities about icons in the community. The prizes will come from and support local LGBTQIA+ businesses and nonprofits, such as Uncommon Coffee Roasters, Diaspora Co. and 1821 Bitters. The events are to create an open space to learn and connect within our local LGBTQIA+ community. We’re also coordinating the Pride Walk in a way that allows us to work with nonprofits in the community so our support can extend beyond the walls of Udemy.

 

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

 

As co-chairs of Out@U, our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, we believe Pride should extend beyond June. We launched PRIDE 365 to foster global LGBTQIA+ outreach at Udemy, promoting diversity, intersectionality and stronger alliances year-round. We prioritize intersectionality and embrace all aspects of personal identity, recognizing that we’re multifaceted.

 

Our initiatives enhance learning and engagement, such as LGBTQIA+ trivia, resource sharing for personal and professional development as well as monthly events spotlighting intersectionalities and trailblazers.

 

Our “In Your Neighborhood” e-source highlights global Udemy offices, enabling employees to explore LGBTQIA+ places, communities and events. For example, some of our SF team bonded during the Castro Rainbow Honor Walk.

 

Udemy also expanded our inclusive benefits. Our latest addition is transgender care, including HRC and WPATH-approved feminization and masculinization procedures.

 

As Out@U co-chairs, we’re committed to promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion and awareness year-round. Through intersectionality, engaging events, local resources and expanded benefits, we cultivate a supportive environment that celebrates our diverse community.

 

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

 

We love supporting our local communities. During our 2022 Drag Queen Story Hour, we brought people within the drag community to our office to read stories like Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima, Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love and One by Kathryn Otoshi. 

 

We also sponsor events like Lesbians Who Tech last year. This event helped create learning opportunities by having employees participate in discussions and panels. This offered a great way to represent Udemy, our values, and share insights into how we’re creating diversity, inclusion, belonging, and representation within the company.


 

-ACCOUNT NAME: Crunchyroll

-CONTRIBUTOR INFO: Jocelyne Capil Senior Manager, Global Employee Programs (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging)

-QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:



 

Crunchyroll is an online hub and content streaming platform for all things anime and manga. 

 

What activities are Crunchyroll coordinating for Pride Month?

 

Pride Month is festive at Crunchyroll. During the month, we offer celebratory and educational events from our Rainbow Roll employee resource group. This year we’re planning a Pride trivia happy hour in our U.S. offices and offering an “Ask Me Anything” event so employees can learn about gender identity, sexual orientation and language in a judgment-free environment. In the past we had virtual drag queen bingo, watch parties for LGBTQ+ content and a curated Pride playlist.

 

We also partner with other Sony companies to amplify our Pride support. We participate in the LA Pride Parade with Sony Pictures and host the San Francisco Pride Parade with Sony PlayStation. Lastly, we use the spotlight on Pride to donate to organizations helping to serve the LGBTQIA+ community close to our U.S. offices.

 

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

 

We aim to create safe and welcoming spaces for our LGBTQIA+ employees and cultivate a culture of belonging where employees can be their most authentic selves. 

 

Our Rainbow Roll LGBTQIA+ employee resource group hosts meet-ups in our U.S. offices to build trust and listen to our community. We have a digital space on Slack for our LGBTQ+ members to share articles, discuss news and of course, anime. We give our LGBTQIA+ employees spotlights on LinkedIn and give them a platform to share their stories on our Crunchyroll news site.



 

-ACCOUNT NAME: HoneyBook

-CONTRIBUTOR INFO: Marquis Stevenson he/him/his Office & Experience Manager, US

-QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:




 

HoneyBook is a software company that provides productivity, payment and project management solutions to individuals and enterprises. 

 

What activities are HoneyBook coordinating for Pride Month?

 

At HoneyBook, we have a full calendar for Pride month. We’re kicking off with interviews with a few members of our team who have offered to share their coming out stories. We’re excited to give them a platform to share their experiences and support them. 

 

We'll be hosting an educational session for our global team team, cocktail and karaoke parties in our offices and crafting boxes with personalized notes plus some pride swag from San Francisco small businesses. 

 

Most importantly, we’ll be holding a fundraiser for the Trevor Project with company matching. The safety and security of queer youth has always been a priority for our team and we're so excited to contribute to the Trevor Project's mission.

 

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

 

We prioritize the ongoing support of our LGBTQIA+ team members. Throughout the year, we aim to carve out intentional safe spaces for employees to express themselves. Whether that’s conversations with our experience and inclusion team, drag performances and activities by our very own employees or our monthly lunch and learn sessions, we know that ongoing conversations and resources to support our team members is a must.

 

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

One unique way HoneyBook continues to support the LGBTQIA+ community is providing resources to our member base about creating safe spaces for diverse clients. By empowering our members to support and work with folks from different backgrounds, we lift up the wider community of independents — no matter who they love.




 

-ACCOUNT NAME: Carbon

-CONTRIBUTOR INFO: Augustine Alvarez (he/him/his), Special Projects Supervisor

-QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:



 

Carbon is creating an idea-to-production platform of advanced materials, software, hardware, and services that is expanding what can be made.


 

Describe the activities Carbon is coordinating for Pride Month. 

 In June, Carbon proudly stands with the PR-IDE ERG as we strive to amplify the visibility, advocacy, and education of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our exciting lineup of events this year includes joining the city hall's Pride flag raising ceremony, as well as some annual favorites: a museum trip showcasing the incredible talent of LGBTQIA+ individuals, a bake sale to support our local San Mateo County Pride center, and an inspiring speaker event.

 One of the highlights this year is our fireside chat with the San Mateo Pride Center, where we aim to shed light on the invaluable support provided by our local community center and raise awareness about the challenges they face at the grassroots level. Moreover, throughout the entire Pride month, we proudly fly the Pride Flag and share educational slides on important topics such as Stonewall, transgender advocacy, and LGBTQIA+ cultural insights.

 To culminate Pride month, we will lead our employees on an invigorating hike to the iconic pink triangle in San Francisco. By undertaking this journey, we symbolize our commitment to embracing and celebrating the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

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

 When I first joined the company five years ago, I asked myself if I was the only LGBTQIA+ member here at Carbon. I slowly learned I wasn't the only one. During my first June at the company, I was approached by a member of the people team and was asked if I would be willing to share my coming out story to the company at a fireside chat. I agreed and also partnered with them to found the PR-IDE ERG and made the announcement at the end of my story. The support I received was overwhelming and that day we had our first member.  

 Since then, Carbon has continued to show support for the PR-IDE ERG by promoting initiatives for awareness, budget for  ERG events, and actively listening on ways that the company can support its current talent and recruitment strategies to source LGBTQIA+ candidates. Carbon has also invested in partnering with DEI consultants to supply educational talks and resource tools to support bringing awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community to the broader company.

 

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

 Here at Carbon, we feel that June is not the only month to give focus to the community. The PR-IDE ERG sponsors educational events all year round. We like to bring awareness in various ways throughout the year, highlighting National Coming Out Day, Transgender Awareness week, Worlds AIDS day, LGBTQIA+ history month, and many others. Historically we have sent out newsletters, slide decks, and have held fireside chats with various members of the community. One notable experience for me is where we had an impactful fireside chat with Grace McKenzie, who is a transgender rugby player for the U.S. Women’s Rugby team, where she spoke with us about the current struggles and discrimination toward the transgender community in the sports community and in general. 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images by shutterstock

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