Life at Dataminr

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal moment that represents the start of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement in the U.S. It also marks the 40th year of New York City Pride. The themes vary by city, but New York City’s—reflect, empower and unite—is particularly fitting given the challenges the LGBTQIA+ community has had to endure and overcome throughout history and in today’s society.

In recognition, and as a way to proudly celebrate Pride Month, I asked members of our Pride@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG) to share their reflections and tips for what organizations can do to better support their LGBTQIA+ employees. 

Check out what they had to say.

Reflecting on the history of the LGBTQIA+ community in the U.S. (and the world), what is one important event you want people to remember? Why?

It was incredibly eye-opening and heartwarming to learn about the events that created a positive, profound impact on my colleagues’ life. While there’s still a long way for us to achieve full equality in the U.S. and the rest of the world, the events they shared remind us of the progress thus far.

Joey McAlister-Kiser, Accounts Payable Manager at Dataminr, talked about an event that changed his life: the official repeal of Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption. The ban had been in place since 1977 and nearly four decades later, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill to lift the ban in 2015, providing numerous children with a chance of finding loving, forever families.

“One of my life-long desires was to have a family. Well into adulthood, I had more or less accepted the fact that it would never be a possibility,” said Joey. “However, by virtue of the ban being lifted, my husband and I were able to become parents through adoption in 2022. It has been the most amazing journey.”

Instead of reflecting on a historical event, Alyson Cuervo, Senior Customer Success Associate, U.S. Department of Defense at Dataminr, chose to focus on what we can do now to effect change and advocate for LGBTQIA+ equal rights and access: vote in this year’s bevy of elections. “One of the most effective ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community, which faces a lifetime of marginalization, is to keep it in mind when given an opportunity to advocate for change, such as voting,” said Alyson.

For Sarah Jackson, Public Sector SVP of Customer Success and executive sponsor of the Pride@Dataminr ERG, the 2015 landmark rule by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide remains a special memory. “As a Washington D.C. resident, the moment the Supreme Court announced the ruling and the White House was lit up in rainbow colors was very memorable to me. It was a remarkable achievement for our country and for so many people who fought to make it happen.” 

Pride Month is a worldwide celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and rights. The first pride week featured marches in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Some celebratory events are held in other months, like Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride (April) and a major event in Rio de Janeiro (November).

Source: ABC News

What concrete actions can companies and allies take to empower and support their LGBTQIA+ employees?

While there are several ways organizations can support their LGBTQIA+ employees, Alyson noted that offering inclusive benefits is critical. Examples include health insurance plans or subsidies that consider gender affirming care, inclusive family planning benefits that cover fertility and adoption resources, and inclusive paid parental leave.

For Joey, creating an inclusive and welcoming company culture that allows LGBTQIA+ employees to truly feel like they belong is crucial. “Having a sense of belonging, feeling accepted and being celebrated for your authentic self is empowering for all employees on so many levels.”

And, as executive sponsor of the Pride@Dataminr ERG and ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, Sarah aims to help elevate our employees’ voices and advocate for their interests so that they can fully thrive and flourish in their career. 

“There is always more to do and I’m proud to know that our company leadership is receptive to the voices of our LGBTQIA+ family and allies,” said Sarah. “I’m happy to see Dataminr’s support for the community in many places—from our health and wellness benefits to our hiring practices.”

How do you plan to celebrate Pride Month this year?

How Pride Month is celebrated is different for everyone, so it’s always fascinating to hear how my colleagues are planning to commemorate the month. 

Alyson plans to visit Washington D.C., where she used to live, to visit friends and the LGBTQIA+ establishments that she used to frequent—those that shaped her early years as an out queer person. She’s also reading “A Place For Us,” a memoir by 2016 Pulse nightclub attack survivor Brandon J. Wolf; he details his experience and lessons of resilience since. 

“My partner and I also hope to attend a range of events celebrating Pride in Orlando—our relatively new home—to expand the community we’ve started to build here.”

Meanwhile, Joey is excited to share his parenthood journey as one half of a same-sex male couple at a virtual discussion hosted by both the Pride@Dataminr and Parents@Dataminr ERGs. 

“I remind myself that it wasn’t too long ago when this topic would have been deemed too taboo for the workplace. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than having the opportunity to share my story in a safe and supportive space at Dataminr.”

What is the Pride@Dataminr ERG doing to commemorate this month?

This year, the Pride@Dataminr ERG is hosting a number of in-person and virtual events that are open to all. The goal is to provide an opportunity for everyone to celebrate together. Activities include: 

  • A joint panel with the Parents@Dataminr ERG facilitated by an external clinical psychologist, by way of our partner Therify. It allows employees to connect, share, explore and celebrate the intersections of Pride and parenthood. 
  • In-person social events at Dataminr’s New York and Washington D.C. offices 
  • An annual Pride@Dataminr ERG-curated music playlist listening party

Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll strive to provide even more opportunities and resources for both the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to come together and support each other.

Robin Strup
Vice President,
DEI & Internal Communications
June 11, 2024
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