Happy Pride Month!
Each June, Pride Month provides us with a time to honour and celebrate the history and accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s also a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality around the world.
As a queer leader, I’m incredibly proud to be part of our Index Pride affinity group. We work all year long to educate, spread joy, and build community for our LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
I couldn’t be happier to sit down with our Index Pride leaders, Holly McHale, instructional designer, and Edward Wright, staff software engineer, to discuss the mission of the group, how we can be better allies at work, and what we have coming up to celebrate Pride Month.
Will Mahon (he/him): What’s the mission of Index Pride?
Holly McHale (she/her): It starts with three words: educational, inclusive, and secure. Index Pride is a safe space for its members, a place that welcomes the inclusion of all identities, with the added drive to educate and share different perspectives and lived experiences with all Indexers.
WM: Why did you join Index Pride? What have you learned through your experience?
EW: A former Index employee encouraged me to join in 2018 after he found out I was queer. I thought it was a good idea to be able to connect with other LGBTQ+ employees at Index and it’s been great.
One thing I find very valuable is that while I have many wonderful straight friends and colleagues, sometimes it’s nice to be able to talk as a group about issues that affect us as LGBTQ+ people without first needing to explain the context to those who aren’t familiar with it.
HM: I joined Index Pride shortly after starting at Index Exchange in 2017. One of the group’s founding members encouraged me to join. I believed in the mission, was drawn to the fantastic people already in the group, and I wanted to get involved.
A key takeaway for me has been to always keep the conversation going. As long as we’re still talking to each other, we can keep learning, and hopefully continue to grow and do better.
“I’m a member of Index Pride because I want to be the best ally possible to the pride community. Whether deepening my education about topics concerning the community or showing up for our events to ensure that my colleagues feel seen, heard, and supported, it’s important to me.”Kylie Denk, employer brand manager
WM: What are a few things someone can do to be a better ally at work?
HM: There are lots of ways to be a great ally to your LGBTQ+ colleagues! Where you’re able, update your pronouns (and respect those that others use), attend events run by your pride groups, and never underestimate the impact of a smile or a kind word.
EW: I’d emphasise two things: listen and act. Listen to your marginalised colleagues, as their experience of issues affecting them might be different from your experience of those issues.
Act, because sometimes a small gesture can mean a tremendous amount. One example that’s really stuck with me came up during an Index Pride event earlier this year where our guest, Sam Slate, a transgender man working at Dell, talked about how the tipping point for workplace acceptance of his transition was nothing more than a colleague welcoming him into the men’s gym. Doing good is a lot easier than we think.
“In 2017, I initiated the launch of Index Pride for our 2SLGBTQIA+ employees with the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace environment. Recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals who may feel marginalised or isolated due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, the aim was to create a safe space where everyone could freely express themselves, find support, and establish a sense of community and belonging.”Azuree Caldwell, community specialist
WM: What activities is Index Pride planning for Pride Month?
EW: We are going to have some great virtual discussions with group members including topics like the history of pride, the science of being transgender, queer representation in the media, and in collaboration with our affinity group Index Black, a discussion on the (Gay) Harlem Renaissance.
HM: Indexers can also expect to see great podcasts and playlists that we’ll share to get your day going as well as suggestions of creators to follow. We can’t wait to see everyone there!
Learn more about our affinity groups and what you can expect working at Index.Back to blog