LGBTQ+ Braze Employees On How Pride@Braze Helps Build Community
Every June, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies celebrates Pride Month, marking the anniversary of 1969’s Stonewall Riots, a series of clashes that took place between the LGBTQ+ community and the police in New York’s Greenwich Village following a police raid at the Stonewall Inn. Pride is traditionally a time for reflection, celebration, and activism in the LGBTQ+ community and in keeping with that, we’re talking with members of Pride@Braze, our LGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG), about the people in the community they look up to and how Pride@Braze helps to support awareness and community at Braze. Check it out!
What does being part of Pride@Braze mean to you?
Samantha Abbott, Senior Software Engineer and Pride@Braze Lead: “Being part of Pride@Braze means being able to connect with my coworkers about our shared experiences.It means I can bring my full self to work, and know that the people around me will understand my joys and struggles.”
Tom Miller, Senior Information Security Manager: “I love knowing there's a community at work and knowing that the Braze supports its LGBTQ+ employees.”
Andy Boyle, Recruiter: “Being part of Pride@Braze allows me to feel supported—and included—not only when it comes to other employees within the LGBTQ+ community, but also that I am able to be my authentic self within the Braze organization.”
Matthew Heywood, Account Executive: “Pride@Braze is all about being who you are, accepting yourself, and everyone for who they are. For me, Pride@Braze is about confidence, being true to yourself. It's about being brave. Super brave. It is a place of respect, support and safety. Pride@Braze is essentially a big hug. To me, it's also about recognition and celebration. It's a place to be thankful and mindful of LGBTQ+ culture, history and activism. Pride@Braze is opportunity. To educate, to support and to take your seat at the table and show up. Pride@Braze means being me, accepting me, accepting others—and showing up with a collaborative aim to achieve great things together.”
How does Pride@Braze benefit Braze and the LGBTQ+ community?
Abbott: “Pride@Braze benefits Braze in many ways. The biggest ones are by bringing together people from different departments, but who can really relate to one another, and by making it easier for queer employees to advocate for what they need. Improvements to the queer employees' working lives improve Braze as a whole! As far as how Pride@Braze benefits the LGBTQIA+ community, every time that we highlight a queer person living life, doing well, and pushing boundaries, that benefits the community. And Pride@Braze strives to do that!”
Miller: “It guarantees that the LGBTQ+ community is part of the Braze fabric.”
Boyle: “Having an internal ERG dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community proves Braze places value on being a truly inclusive company.”
Heywood: “Pride@Braze gives all Braze employees the safe space to freely share, discuss, debate, and engage on any issues, especially ones that are related to the LGBTQ+ experience. It provides a pivotal role in being an open resource for education and awareness for all. It is one of the many structural ERG pillars of the Braze community that does its bit in ensuring that everyone, regardless of who they are, have the confidence and support to live their true lives.”
Who are your LGBTQ+ heroes?
Abbott: “My honest LGBTQIA+ heroines are my wife, Sloane and my best friend, Kim. Sloane works hard everyday to be the best person she can be—her queerest, most awesome self—and it's incredibly inspiring to me. Kim pushes herself and the people around her to be responsible and care for others. When I think of a queer people supporting other queer people, Kim is the first person I think of.”
Heywood: “For me, this is simple. The entire staff and team at 56 Dean Street—which is a publicly funded expert sexual health clinic in London—are absolutely incredible. They work tirelessly to bring down infection rates for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, while also addressing and focusing on specific needs for the LGBTQ+ community. Diagnoses have fallen 80% from their peak in 2015 thanks to work that’s been done to break down stigma and barriers with their 100% non-judgement open door policy, plus pioneering world leadership in PREP, PEP, trans and non-binary services, and HIV Care. Every single member of the Dean Street team, from the doctors, nurses, pharmacy, care workers, admin staff and security, are true unsung vocational heroes in ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and confident to be themselves in requesting advice, support, help, or treatment for mental and sexual health.”
While Pride is only a month long, supporting the LGBTQ+ community is important all year long. From supporting your LGBTQ+ employees via ERGs to ensuring that your customer engagement efforts are inclusive and thoughtful, putting in the time and effort is important and well worth it.
Interested in joining the growing team at Braze? We’re hiring! Head over to our careers page to explore open roles.