Life at Dataminr

As part of Dataminr’s celebration of Pride Month and the LGBTQIA+ community, I was asked to share my thoughts and advice as an out leader here at Dataminr, and I’m delighted to share my insights with you. Showing up as my authentic self in the workplace has been a transformative journey, and it feels important to provide support and guidance for anyone wishing to lead with inclusion at the forefront, as well as for anyone going through a similar journey themselves.

Showing up as my authentic self in the workplace

As an out leader, I had to go through my own journey, and that journey was twofold. First, I had to be in a place where I felt personally comfortable coming out, and second, I had to face the prospect of coming out in the workplace. That was not easy for me; it felt very challenging and difficult.

Coming out is fundamentally hard for anyone to go through alone, but being supported can make the experience far easier. I’m a strong believer in organizations taking a level of responsibility in creating inclusive and accepting workplace cultures and environments. As individuals, we should be able to feel comfortable in our own skin, and for that to happen, we need to be in a place where we don’t have to wear one hat at home and another at work.

In my case, the moment I decided to live one life, and wear one hat, I became a happier person. I found that opportunities and doors opened for me, and by presenting my authentic self, I was able to build closer and more genuine relationships with both my colleagues and my customers.

This greatly impacted my career, and once I showed up as the true me, I saw more and more success. My priority now is to communicate the importance of enablement and support. It’s about building open environments and support networks that allow everyone to show up in the workplace and be who they are.

The significance of Pride and how to support diversity in the workplace

There is a challenge in the world today where many people don’t know how to approach the subject of diversity in the workplace. This is why commemorative months like Pride are crucial; they bring supporting diversity and the LGBTQIA+ community to the forefront. Pride honors the history, achievements, and ongoing struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community while also serving as a time for celebration, solidarity and advocacy.

I think having a framework and guidance can be a great help, especially if people do not possess personal experience themselves, do not have friendships that include people from different backgrounds, or simply feel unsure of how to proceed.

In general, there are always opportunities for you to be an ally in the workplace, and there are often opportunities for you to show up in big ways. For example, choosing to work for a company that fosters a progressive culture and is inclusive would be a great step. Although I understand not everyone is in a position to make these kinds of choices, there are also plenty of small steps you can take. Companies often have a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) representative within HR, so you can always reach out to them.

One of the reasons I felt Dataminr was the right fit for me, was I could immediately tell from first conversations that we were aligned and shared the same values around DEI. 

“Dataminr has invested in the journey of creating a DEI ecosystem, including strong, impactful support networks, like employee resource groups (ERGs) that encourage allyship and participation at all levels of the organization, recognizing that we all have a role to play in creating the culture of inclusivity that we want to achieve. 

A key pillar of the strategy prioritizes cultural competence through inclusive learning and development opportunities that inspire employees to gain and share diverse perspectives and experiences. Building strong relationships and practicing inclusive behaviors are critical to forging powerful collaborations with our colleagues and customers,” Robin Strup, Dataminr VP of DEI & Internal Communications.

On leadership and open dialogue

As an openly out leader, I prioritize working with organizations that embrace shared cultural values. Promoting an inclusive work culture is not only crucial for the well-being of employees but also enables a business to function better, be more productive, and achieve greater success, as demonstrated in my own path to authenticity. I firmly believe effective leadership begins with open conversations and listening, which is universal and not just isolated to DEI.

Being open and talking can inspire trust, initiate conversations, and build confidence, further impacting change. As with everything, it stems from the top, where problems often lie. Not all leaders have personal experiences or are connected similarly to someone who does. From a leadership perspective, if you lack personal experience, seek guidance from leaders who do. Ask questions and have conversations. They can provide insights on supporting employees who are out or want to come out. 

Additionally, utilizing web resources and speaking with diverse candidates within your company can offer valuable perspectives, but proceed with caution. These discussions should always be approached with sensitivity, as everyone is different, so they should never be forced or pushed. Personally, I’m always delighted when I’m approached, and I have many great friends who aren’t gay, who want to be allies and progressive in their leadership. I’ve helped many friends through this journey by coaching them on how to support their employees and sharing resources.

If you are looking for a helpful resource, I recommend Out Leadership. Out Leadership connects and develops LGBTQIA+ and ally leaders globally, advocating for inclusion at all levels. Their website is very comprehensive, with every resource you can imagine. Through their actions, they aim to create a world where everyone can live authentically and achieve their full potential, which is a win-win for both organizations and individuals.

Always be open to learning and supporting inclusivity. And remember, it’s okay not to have all the answers. Just be open to finding them.

Pride Month: Reflect, Empower and Unite

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Read Now
Brian Gumbel,
President & COO
June 14, 2024
  • Life at Dataminr
  • Blog

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