Through the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I) Forum, AspenTech actively strives to cultivate a work environment that celebrates our differences and champions inclusion for all. Pride Month is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that purpose and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community, and we are ready to take on this journey alongside anyone who is interested in learning so we can all strive for better social connections and a deeper understanding of our environment.
Guided by Integrity and Execution as two of our core values, we remind ourselves with each meeting, campaign and blog post, that we are always looking to do the right thing. Our actions need to match our words, and we look forward to improving the world for everyone, not just those in our immediate lenses or those who belong to a specific demographic. That’s why Pride Month is an excellent moment to create awareness not only within the context of those who identify as part of the LGTBQ+ community, but also within all, taking an active role as allies of our communities, and raise their voices to passionately engage in conversations where different lived experiences are shared and discussed to make our societies a better place to live.
At AspenTech we are committed to listening and amplifying voices in the LGBTQ+ community. Here is a short list of how we all can elevate our allyship:
- Be respectful. Not all LGBTQ+ people are comfortable talking about their experiences, but if they are willing to open up, feel free to ask questions and relate to their experiences.
- Support LGBTQ+ businesses. Supporting local businesses is always a welcome idea, but going out of your way to try something new that supports LGBTQ+ business owners is especially helpful.
- Ask about pronouns. Take the initiative and start offering your pronouns when you meet someone new. Reinforcing pronoun use will make asking others for their pronouns easier (and identify yourself as an ally).
- Educate yourself. Read biographies of historical LGBTQ+ figures, read current events from around the world and/or search the internet for ally trainings.
- Attend LGBTQ+ events. Pride events are important in the LGBTQ+ community. Although they are mainly for LGBTQ+ people, ally support is always welcome! Aside from Pride, there are also many local events/rallies/demonstrations.
- Write to your local government officials. Ensure public buildings, schools and venues are LGBTQ+-friendly. If you see an opportunity for inclusion, send a note to a government official to let them know you would like to see improvements.
- Discuss allyship with other allies. Ask your friends and relatives what they do to support LGBTQ+ individuals and share your experiences.
- Limit your assumptions. There are plenty of famous phrases about when we assume something; these apply when talking with LGBTQ+ people. It is always better to ask respectful questions than assume. This applies to how a person presents or their comfort level discussing their sexuality, gender identity, etc (follow their lead).
- Don’t confuse gender with sexual orientation. Trans people, like cisgender people, are straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.
- Making mistakes is part of the learning process of practicing allyship. Acknowledge and apologize for mistakes; learn from them, but do not retreat.
- Educate others. It is important to show the next generations that we are making progress. Share with them resources and tactics you have learned in this list.
The DEI Forum has also been working on a couple of activities to celebrate Pride Month within our AspenTech community. Some of these are as simple (and essential) as using Pride-related email signatures and videoconference backgrounds or publishing interesting information on Pride activism; to even more engaging and fun activities such as carrying out events virtually and at the office, candid discussions to talk about coming out stories/journeys, sharing LGBTQ+-related resources and even attending local Pride Parades as an AspenTech community.
So, stay tuned for more news, and updates, and remember we are stronger because of our differences.
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