Culture at Braze

What Pride Means at Braze

Kelsey Cottingham By Kelsey Cottingham Jun 20, 2019

This June marks the 50th Anniversary of the 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. This dark, yet pivotal time for the queer community is now remembered and celebrated with rainbows throughout the month of June, which is now known as Pride Month.

Throughout this month, consumers have likely seen their feeds turn multicolor, as brands turned their logos to rainbow iterations of themselves to show their support. (We’re among them!) But we understand that voicing our support for the LGBTQIA+ community is different from actually providing direct support. That’s why our Diversity and Inclusion team, Braze for All, put together a series of events and activities throughout the month to both celebrate and actively show support for this community. Check out how we celebrated Pride this June:

Over in London, our team held an “Equali-Tea bake-off,” where employees baked or purchased desserts and collected cash donations to support Stonewall UK. At the event, we also had a guest speaker from L'Oréal: Ellis Lanyon, Senior Digital Manager and OUT@LOREAL Community lead who shared with us his experiences and learnings from working with LGBTQ+ Youth in NYC as part of L’Oréal’s “Be Right Back Program.”

In both San Francisco and our New York HQ, Braze team members gathered to put together toiletry kits for the Ali Forney Center—the largest LGBT community center helping LGBT homeless youth in the United States—and Larkin Street Youth Services, an SF nonprofit that has helped over 75,000 young adults since 1984 by providing a continuum of healthcare, housing, employment, and education services.

On June 19th, we held our main event of the year, a Pride Happy Hour and Networking event in our brand new HQ office in New York City, featuring speakers from the Ali Forney Center such as Paul Clark, Director of Corporate & Community Relations, and Alex Roque, Director of Development. Braze team members and members of LGBTQ+ employee resource groups from other tech companies gathered for the event. The pride was palpable in the room thanks to the speaker spotlights, the rainbow decorations, and the featured cocktail dedicated to LGBTQ+ trailblazer Marsha P. Johnson, but for this event, the true beauty was in the details like:

  • Gender Neutral Beer by Threes Brewing, from which a portion of the sales is donated to the Anti-Violence Project, a charitable group focused on preventing violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and people living with HIV
  • Rainbow black and white cookies, a pride-filled twist on a New York classic from Dana’s Bakery. 5% of proceeds from the cookies were donated to the Ali Forney Center.

While we’ve had a blast with all of our Pride-focused activities this month, Braze recognizes that true allyship and inclusivity is a 24/7/365 commitment—not just one month. Here’s a look at some of the initiatives we’ve put into place within Braze to foster a working environment that is truly inclusive and supportive.

  • Braze for ALL, our diversity and inclusion initiative which brings together employees from across the organization to talk about the tough topics and to use our collected brainpower and creativity to challenge ourselves as individuals and as a company to make Braze a better, more inclusive place to work.
  • Pronoun options within our employee profile portals, currently including:
    • Co/Cos/Coself
    • En/Ens/Enself
    • He/Him/His/Himself
    • She/Her/Hers/Herself
    • They/Them/Theirs/Themself
    • Xie/Hir/Hirs/Hirself
    • Yo/Yos/Yoself
    • Ze/Zir/zirs/Zirself
  • LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group which connects Braze employees to the LGBTQ+ community through history, art, culture, and charitable giving and volunteering
  • Donation matching for employees year round through Bright Funds, with a fund highlighted this month specifically for supporting LGBTQ+ organizations

Anything else?

Pride may only be a month long, but allyship is always-on. To learn about best practices for using your technology to ensure that your customer-brand interactions are inclusive, check out this piece!

Kelsey Cottingham

Kelsey Cottingham

Kelsey is a writer and editor based in New York. When she's not writing about the latest and greatest in mobile marketing for Braze, you can find her on the hunt for some proper gumbo in NYC.

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