By Michael Obert, Senior Corporate Counsel
June marks PRIDE, a month-long celebration of the history, diversity, and joy of the LGBTQ+ experience. Starting in 1970 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, PRIDE includes parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, and other events that attract millions of participants around the world. On June 16th, NortonLifeLock boldly, firmly and proudly demonstrated its commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and the LGBTQ+ Community, by celebrating the company’s first Virtual Pride Parade. The event was attended by employees globally as well as by executive leadership. After two years with NortonLifeLock, I see the company’s leadership striving to create a work environment where everyone belongs.
The DEI team along with N-PRIDE, NortonLifeLock’s LGBTQ+ Community, decided to celebrate PRIDE by hosting a virtual parade that included conversations (“Fireside Chats”) with LGBTQ+ identifying leaders from inside and outside the organization. The Fireside Chats were an opportunity for all employees to learn about the history of PRIDE and the movement for equality, to hear more about how N-PRIDE provides opportunities to connect, learn, share perspectives, and to celebrate in a joyful and supportive environment. Employees also heard more about how NortonLifeLock is actively supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights year-round.
The Fireside Chats were moderated with skill, humor and care by my fellow N-PRIDE Co-Champion and super ally, Gayathri Rajendiran, and featured one of our NortonLifeLock Board Members, Emily Heath, as well as employees across the company who shared their experiences. Topics ranged from personal stories to critical LGBTQ+ issues like those facing the transgender community. In addition to internal speakers, N-PRIDE welcomed Deena Fidas, Out & Equal’s Managing Director. Out & Equal, one of NortonLifeLock’s partners, is an organization working exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equality across the globe. Deena helped bring awareness to the LGBTQ+ community’s global journey and opportunities for the future.
In addition to partnering together in the PRIDE parade, NortonLifeLock recently provided a $55,000 grant to Out & Equal. Out & Equal partners with Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and organizations across industries to provide LGBTQ+ executive leadership development, comprehensive diversity and inclusion training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments.
We also support organizations working to implement change for the LGBTQ+ community year-round. We recently completed an important grant to Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), which is part of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ+ equality and striving to end discrimination. Through public education, research, and policy changes, HRCF’s impact can be felt in schools, on factory floors, and in places of worship, across the globe.
HRCF runs several programs including Welcoming Schools, the only bias-based bullying prevention program to provide LGBTQ+ specific training and resources with an intersectional lens. Through Welcoming Schools, HRCF has trained more than 130,000 educators worldwide, establishing a more inclusive learning climate for over 10.5 million students. With our $50,000 grant to the Welcoming Schools program, HRCF estimates that 750,000 children and youth will be served.
We will be closing out the month with a number of additional employee events including an education session about serving on a board of directors for LGBTQ+ organizations. NortonLifeLock employees will also be showing their PRIDE and allyship by volunteering with groups supporting LGBTQ+ youth.
Beyond June, we will continue to work to create a culture where team members globally feel a sense of belonging and know they have a safe space to be themselves. We celebrate the unique and cherished voices of our LGBTQ+ employees and wish everyone a happy PRIDE!