Pride Month this year feels different, but very familiar in a lot of ways.
As a Black, openly gay man, and the global lead of our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group Pride@Dataminr, I’m spending this Pride Month reflecting on the themes of visibility, allyship and progress toward equality and equity for all.
Pride as we’ve come to know it was started during a 1969 uprising by LGBTQIA+ activists at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.
Transgender Black women, like Marsha P. Johnson, who is regarded as a vanguard of the Stonewall riots, continue to inspire me and continue to be at the forefront of social justice movements around the world.
Progress is being made—earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, upholding that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
But there’s still significant work to be done to achieve equality in our society.
Today, Black Lives Matter protesters are leading the nationwide call to dismantle systemic racism within public and private institutions and hold individuals and organizations accountable for discriminatory actions.
Earlier this month, I joined Black colleagues at a social justice forum organized by the Black@Dataminr employee resource group, to talk openly and honestly about our own experiences as Black people impacted by racism and social justice issues, and the frustration and disappointment in social progress that we’ve often seen move too slowly.
This month, Dataminr’s executive leadership team made a commitment to do better. They are taking a number of actions to continue supporting and amplifying the lives of Black people globally:
Externally, organizations, brands and leaders are actively committing to be less performative and instead take real and measurable action in allyship of marginalized communities. I feel optimistic that the activism we’re seeing will lead to open, frank dialogue about what leaders can do to promote diversity, equity and inclusion at work.
I’ve worked at Dataminr for more than six years, and I’ve very often felt like I could show up authentically. The company’s leadership has been consistently thoughtful about creating a safe space for us to bring our whole selves to work, and I have had the opportunity to enhance my skill sets and even grow into a new, hybrid, and first-of-its kind role that combines product training, early-career talent recruitment, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
This month, Pride@Dataminr will host a special event on “How to Establish an Authentic Professional Brand.” We’ll also be amplifying diverse, LGBTQIA+ voices across our social channels.
These and other activities represent just a few of the ways we are recognizing and engaging with our diverse communities within and outside Dataminr. We will continue to strategize and implement other ways of advancing our own progress as a company, placing diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of the decisions we make.
Michael Howard is a Program Manager on the Dataminr talent acquisition and content platform team. Before joining Dataminr, Michael held news content roles at ABC News headquarters and The E.W. Scripps Company.