The month of June marks Pride, a time for celebrating the LGBTQ+ community around the globe and embracing our individuality, differences and authentic selves. Pride is also an opportunity to reflect on how we can act as better allies, amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, challenge bias, and advance progress toward equality, greater understanding and acceptance.
Pride month didn’t originate from a celebration but was born out of a marginalized community’s stand against injustice. The Stonewall uprising in June 1969 became a catalyst for the 20th century’s LGBTQ+ rights movement. 53 years after that date, the crucial work of reaching equality remains. In the past few decades, we have seen progress thanks to the LGBTQ+ community’s tireless efforts to gain legal rights and protections. But LGBTQ+ individuals still face discrimination, shame and even criminalization around the world.
At Flex, we are working to continuously strengthen our culture of inclusion and ensure our team members feel seen, safe and empowered to be their best selves and reach their full potential. We aim to remove stigma and bias and create space in our workplaces for team members to connect with others and champion change through our company culture, employee resource groups (ERG), policies and actions globally while complying with safety restrictions or risks imposed by local legislation.
Throughout the month, many of our teams and employees globally joined in solidarity to celebrate Pride, deepen their understanding and connect with their local communities.
Flex PRIDE: driving education and advocacy for change
Launching in 2021, the Flex PRIDE employee resource group is a designated space for the LGBTQ+ community and celebrates all individuals and their identities to foster community and allyship and promote equality. Since being founded, Flex PRIDE has remained focused on creating a place where people can come together with respect, celebrating individuality and unique differences. The ERG spearheaded numerous initiatives within its first year, including hosting educational sessions around the importance of allyship, creating psychologically safe spaces and working to remove bias and stigma in the workplace. For this year’s Pride month, the ERG had the pleasure of leading several celebratory and educational events at Flex around topics such as history, terms, orientation, identity, and expression.
“Having a PRIDE ERG has empowered employees to speak up, elevate the importance of allyship and identify ways to better support our community. We are also working on fostering allyship and advocacy from those who don’t identify within the LGBTQ+ community, but want to catalyze positive change.”
— Luis Villasenor, Sr. Director, Program Management, and Global Chair, Pride ERG
Emphasizing the importance of allyship globally
Active and sustained allyship is essential to raising the voices of our LGBTQ+ colleagues, challenging stigma and ultimately charting a path to equality for all. In that spirit, we invited team members across the globe to a special panel discussion, featuring our CEO Revathi Advaithi, alongside LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies. The discussion was centered on allyship, what it means to Flex and its role in the workplace. The panel was designed for the broader employee base and all levels of the organization to hear directly from LGBTQ+ team members and learn about their experiences.
Getting involved locally
Many of our employees at sites around the world stepped up to honor Pride with their colleagues. We’ve highlighted a handful of teams around the world that got involved to educate, listen, learn and celebrate.
Learning the basics and the power of language
This year, Flex Austin partnered with Out Youth, a local non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQIA+ youth needs, with a mission to ensure they feel physically and mentally safe, loved and accepted for who they are. The organization serves as a community center that provides a safe place for youth to be themselves, access free group and individual therapy services, and events for the development and safety of LGBTQIA+ youth.
Morgan Floren, IT support technician and site lead of the PRIDE ERG, hosted a webinar with a local non-profit organization titled, “The ABCs of LGBTQIA+”, that explained the language and acronyms around the community. There are plans to continue to support Flex’s internal education and awareness with another webinar already in development.
“At the end of the day, we all want to be understood and understand each other. The focus on active listening and education is a key component of this, and expressing ourselves openly is vital for creating a culture of acceptance and diversity.”
— Morgan Floren, IT support technician, and Austin site lead, PRIDE ERG
Celebrating Pride within and beyond our workplace
Many of our team members at our Flex Guadalajara site celebrated within and beyond our Flex walls by painting rainbow crosswalks and attending the local Pride parade. The site is also exploring an inclusive job fair for the LGBTQ+ community later this year alongside a combination of allied companies like Flex and NGOs working together to promote inclusion in workspaces. The Latin America region including Brazil also launched a series of employee interviews around inclusivity, discrimination, allyship and more.
Hear from our team member Christina Ruiz, HR Analyst, who speaks about the need for education and awareness regarding issues facing LGBTQ+ community.
Embracing the rainbow
Our Chennai, India site (among other sites like Bangalore) brought the spirit of pride to the office by painting crosswalks rainbow and participating in a rainbow floor art competition and celebration. Also, over 300 members of the Flex India region attended a unique celebration of culture and inclusion hosted by a local organization, which included a narration filled with anecdotes, music, stories and movement that the team got to enact together.
Pride month is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and a call for allies to continue to listen and act to uplift marginalized groups. At Flex, our responsibility—as both individuals and as an organization—is to provide a safe, inclusive environment where every team member feels seen, heard, and valued.