- “Rainbow Room” is RingCentral’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group
- “Love is Universal” is the theme of RingCentral Pride 2021
RingCentral is known for taking things to the next level. Technology. Philanthropy. And especially, culture. This month’s Pride celebrations are no exception. We chatted with leaders of our Rainbow Room Employee Resource Group (ERG) to get a little background on RingCentral’s commitment to equality in the workplace, and the details on how we’ll be celebrating #RCPride this month.
Jason Lane, Senior Employee Experience Business Partner, London, UK
Sheevaun Thatcher, VP, Global Digital Learning and Enablement, Belmont, CA
RingCentral was awarded a 100% ranking by the Human Rights Campaign and designated as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for 2021 – the third year running. Tell us a little about the work that goes into that.
LANE: The HRC’s (The Human Rights Campaign’s) Corporate Equality Index is the leading benchmarking tool we use to grade ourselves on corporate policies, practices and benefits. The HRC takes a 360 degree look at our organisation’s processes, benefits, and practices to ensure an equitable work environment for LGBTQ employees, and I’m very proud they were able to see how radically inclusive our environment really is.
THATCHER: “ I helped found the Rainbow Room ERG —a safe space for LGBTQ and allies. And I can tell you, RingCentral takes diversity and belonging very seriously. I feel safer and more a part of the RingCentral family than at any other company I’ve ever been a part of.”
When we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion, the term “unconscious bias” comes up a lot. In your opinion, has there been progress made over the past year?
LANE: “RingCentral supported the launch of the Rainbow Room ERG during the pandemic, which has made us better able to listen to the community, and build together. We have been able to host different webinars throughout the year, demonstrating what a supportive workplace looks and feels like, and that’s a great way to start the conversation about what unconscious bias actually is, and how to address it together.”
THATCHER: “There has definitely been progress in the last year with a lot more active discussion around unconscious bias. Many people don’t realize they hold certain biases and we’ve done a lot of work at RingCentral to educate people. There is still a long way to go, but I’ve seen real progress being made.”
Tell us about the theme of Pride 2021.
LANE: It’s called “June Pride – Love is Universal. “ The idea was sparked after sharing stories about our significant others with our colleagues. We realized—regardless of who we loved, love comes in all shapes, sizes, depths, and everything else under the rainbow. Love isn’t just between two people who start something more with one another, it can be between family members, friends, and even yourself. The theme is meant to help us all have fun, build community, and showcase the idea that love is universal!”
THATCHER: “It’s about the idea that love doesn’t have a singular look to it. Love doesn’t come in a neat tidy package wrapped up in a bow. Love is all shapes, all sizes, all people.”
Is there a particular element of “Love is Universal” you’re excited about?
THATCHER: “I’m excited about hosting the Rainbow Room Panel on June 10. We are going to have a very open and frank discussion with some seriously courageous, brave folks who are generous enough to share their personal stories. I’m extremely grateful that they have come forward.”
LANE: “This is a really difficult question to answer, but I can tell you, I’m proud of the level of collaboration I’ve seen. So many people have been involved from the Rainbow Room to our Employee Programs Team to our Culture Council. Everyone’s worked so hard…I feel like the program offers something for everyone this month, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
What, in particular, do we have to celebrate this Pride Month?
THATCHER: “We’re still not fully able to gather in person, but we’re getting closer in many parts of the world. People are connecting with family and friends again after so many months of isolation, and that’s a great reason to celebrate Universal Love. Pride exists to honor LGBTQ-identified people and their allies, but it’s always been a great time to celebrate love.”
LANE: “This is an excellent opportunity for us all to educate ourselves on what Pride really means—it’s fundamentally a protest, not a party. And while many societies have advanced, unfortunately there are still people around the world losing their freedom and even their lives — simply for being nothing but themselves. Universal Love is a great way to stand up for them.”
“Pride exists to honor LGBTQ-identified people and their allies, but it’s always been a great time to celebrate love.” – Sheevaun Thatcher
What can allies do to help?
LANE: : “One of the best ways you can participate in Pride is to donate to LGBTQ+ organizations via our RCause platform—where all donations are matched. I would also encourage all RingCentral employees to participate in our Pride program, you don’t have to be gay to stand with the LGBTQ community. When we listen and celebrate what is common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, better place to work.”
“June Pride—Love Is Universal” Pride events are ongoing throughout the month: you can stay updated on everything that’s happening on our RingCentral Video groups.here. Many thanks to the Rainbow Room Employee Resource Group, Employee Programs and Culture Council for putting together such a dynamic, eclectic educational month of activities. However you choose to participate, we hope you’ll feel the hope, the excitement, the fun, and most of all the love. #RCPride