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Being Proud of Who You Are at BPI

As Pride month nears its end, during a particularly volatile time for the LGBTQ+ community, I find myself reflecting on BPI's team members and how they might be affected by everything happening in the world. 

At the same time, it reminds me of some reasons I have stayed with BPI over the years and has helped me remember and focus on those positive aspects as we celebrate this month.

Searching for jobs as a member of the LGBTQ+ community comes with challenges and considerations in addition to those experienced by the average job seeker. 

Will this employer be accepting? Will this employer use my correct pronouns? Will I not get the job if they find out I'm in a same-sex relationship? 

I have found myself asking these same questions during the application process and even questioning whether it would be okay to put a picture of my partner on my desk at work or talk to my coworkers about my relationship. 

Finding the Right Work Place

I have been very fortunate to have found supportive and inclusive employers throughout my work history, but not everyone is so lucky. 

Happily, as I have advanced in my career, it has put me in a position to spearhead initiatives that allow our team members to find that supportive community here. I am delighted to be able to continue and grow these initiatives at BPI.

I frequently share one example during our new hire orientation about how I was made to feel comfortable at BPI from day one. 

On my first day, just before Pride Month, I came in and put my rainbow LEGO set on display in my office alongside a picture of my partner. No one batted an eye, asked questions, or made me feel I was doing something wrong. 

It is such a small thing that others may take for granted, but it really made a lasting impact on me. That was the first moment I realized that I had made the right choice in joining the BPI team. 

As I've continued to grow in my role with the organization, I can recall many other moments that solidified my desire to work here and motivated me to continue making BPI an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment.

But enough about me and my experiences!

I want to highlight how BPI works to ensure those kinds of positive experiences continue for all our team members.

Providing a Safe Place

I can, with complete confidence, say that sexual orientation and gender identity will never be barriers to success at BPI for any team member. 

I have experienced firsthand the look of relief on a new team member's face when asked what their pronouns are or when someone talks about their partner during a meeting. It is even more inspiring to have managers ask me how they can respectfully navigate conversations or acknowledge pronouns for new team members. 

My best advice for managers is always to lead by example. Treat people respectfully, use correct pronouns, and allow the team members to divulge any personal information in a way that makes them comfortable.

The easiest thing we can do is show them that they can feel comfortable being their authentic selves and that BPI is a safe and welcoming place.

Pride 2024 at BPI

BPI is focusing on community and belonging as we celebrate Pride Month 2024. By doing the simple things I've mentioned in this post, we can help team members overcome some difficult and sometimes scary situations. 

As I tell managers, one of the best things anyone can do is simply lead by example. Every single one of our team members should be made to feel not only accepted but also that they belong here.

Pride is so much more than rainbow t-shirts and parades. It's about inclusion, belonging, and considering others' experiences. 

At BPI, you will find a community that supports you and a place to feel safe. It makes me proud to be a member of this team, and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to help create this kind of positive environment for our teams as we continue to grow.

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Meet the Author

John Saylor, PHR
Director of People Operations

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