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How to Be a Better LGBTQ+ Ally at Work

June 16, 2022  |   Pride

Happy Pride Month! Being an ally matters at CDW, and we’re proud to uplift, celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community every day.

We believe allyship is about cultivating an inclusive environment where others are heard and understood. As coworkers, we all share the responsibility of creating an atmosphere where everyone can be their unique, authentic selves.

To celebrate Pride, we asked members of our Business Resource Alliance Valuing Equality (BRAVE) Business Resource Group to share their tips for being an authentic LGBTQ+ ally in the workplace. Learn how our coworkers promote a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging at CDW.

Dario Bertocchi  |  Director, Program Sales (he/him)
Be a good listener. Be inclusive. Don’t assume that someone is not LGBTQ+. Treat everyone, including LGBTQ+ coworkers, with respect and dignity.

Tara Barbieri  |  Vice President, Services Orchestration (she/her)
I think a good ally is someone who listens with empathy, similar to what we would think of as a “good friend” in our relationships. In the workplace, that extends to taking action, such as working to give voice to underrepresented populations in situations or on platforms that aren’t immediately available to the group.

This is important to drive the genuine inclusion of different viewpoints and considerations for populations other than the core leadership group. Each moment of exposure to other people’s realities makes a difference in our perceptions and moves us forward.

Kevin Gavin  |  Account Representative (he/him)
Learning about the LGBTQ+ community can feel daunting, but you may be going about it the wrong way. I’ve learned to simply ask questions sincerely, do my best to take the learnings with me and try to be better. You’re going to make mistakes or slip up, but no one is an expert at first! 

The important thing is that you give it your best effort and keep trying. If someone corrects you, don’t be defensive or blow them off; be civil and remember the correction for the future. Remember to practice—and if you mess up, don’t panic! Just apologize, correct yourself and keep moving forward.

Dandy Western  |  Business Analyst, DVS (xe/xem)
Identities are a spectrum. Educate yourself on what Intersectional Identities are. Create a foundation of knowledge by doing your own research, asking (respectful) questions and working with other allies for support as you start your learning journey.

Remember that LGBTQ+ people experience discomfort and challenges every day related to their identity, and many may not want to take on the task of having to educate new allies. Please begin your journey by utilizing the substantial amount of free resources available on the internet that represent the diversity of our community.

Ksenia McAllister  |  PPM Manager – Microsoft Client (she/her)
Listen to what LGBTQ+ people are saying. Follow LGBTQ+ people on social media and consume content created by LGBTQ+ people.

Chris Pride  |  Supply Chain Strategy and Capability Manager (he/him)
Be mindful of using gender-specific words or phrases when addressing mixed groups, especially where you may not be aware of gender preference. For example, “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” exclude folks who are non-binary.

Own your mistakes but don’t dwell or make a big deal about them. Correct yourself and move on. Approach the situation with kindness.

Clarissa Hughes  |  Principal Business Analyst (she/her)
When people feel seen, heard and affirmed, they are going to give the best of themselves to everything they do, which makes us all successful. Respect and use chosen names and preferred pronouns.

Jonathan Malloy  |  Sales Contact Center (Government) Account Manager (he/him)
Do your best to help your friends understand microaggressions. You never know if a member of the LGBTQ+ community may overhear you and may feel hurt by your words.

At CDW, we’re honored to celebrate Pride with our LGBTQ+ community. Our mission is to create an inclusive workplace where everyone feels validated, respected and heard—and that includes how our coworkers support and respect each other. 

Learn more about CDW's Diversity & Inclusion efforts.

Happy Pride Month! Being an ally matters at CDW, and we’re proud to uplift, celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community every day.

We believe allyship is about cultivating an inclusive environment where others are heard and understood. As coworkers, we all share the responsibility of creating an atmosphere where everyone can be their unique, authentic selves.

To celebrate Pride, we asked members of our Business Resource Alliance Valuing Equality (BRAVE) Business Resource Group to share their tips for being an authentic LGBTQ+ ally in the workplace. Learn how our coworkers promote a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging at CDW.

Dario Bertocchi  |  Director, Program Sales (he/him)
Be a good listener. Be inclusive. Don’t assume that someone is not LGBTQ+. Treat everyone, including LGBTQ+ coworkers, with respect and dignity.

Tara Barbieri  |  Vice President, Services Orchestration (she/her)
I think a good ally is someone who listens with empathy, similar to what we would think of as a “good friend” in our relationships. In the workplace, that extends to taking action, such as working to give voice to underrepresented populations in situations or on platforms that aren’t immediately available to the group.

This is important to drive the genuine inclusion of different viewpoints and considerations for populations other than the core leadership group. Each moment of exposure to other people’s realities makes a difference in our perceptions and moves us forward.

Kevin Gavin  |  Account Representative (he/him)
Learning about the LGBTQ+ community can feel daunting, but you may be going about it the wrong way. I’ve learned to simply ask questions sincerely, do my best to take the learnings with me and try to be better. You’re going to make mistakes or slip up, but no one is an expert at first! 

The important thing is that you give it your best effort and keep trying. If someone corrects you, don’t be defensive or blow them off; be civil and remember the correction for the future. Remember to practice—and if you mess up, don’t panic! Just apologize, correct yourself and keep moving forward.

Dandy Western  |  Business Analyst, DVS (xe/xem)
Identities are a spectrum. Educate yourself on what Intersectional Identities are. Create a foundation of knowledge by doing your own research, asking (respectful) questions and working with other allies for support as you start your learning journey.

Remember that LGBTQ+ people experience discomfort and challenges every day related to their identity, and many may not want to take on the task of having to educate new allies. Please begin your journey by utilizing the substantial amount of free resources available on the internet that represent the diversity of our community.

Ksenia McAllister  |  PPM Manager – Microsoft Client (she/her)
Listen to what LGBTQ+ people are saying. Follow LGBTQ+ people on social media and consume content created by LGBTQ+ people.

Chris Pride  |  Supply Chain Strategy and Capability Manager (he/him)
Be mindful of using gender-specific words or phrases when addressing mixed groups, especially where you may not be aware of gender preference. For example, “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” exclude folks who are non-binary.

Own your mistakes but don’t dwell or make a big deal about them. Correct yourself and move on. Approach the situation with kindness.

Clarissa Hughes  |  Principal Business Analyst (she/her)
When people feel seen, heard and affirmed, they are going to give the best of themselves to everything they do, which makes us all successful. Respect and use chosen names and preferred pronouns.

Jonathan Malloy  |  Sales Contact Center (Government) Account Manager (he/him)
Do your best to help your friends understand microaggressions. You never know if a member of the LGBTQ+ community may overhear you and may feel hurt by your words.

At CDW, we’re honored to celebrate Pride with our LGBTQ+ community. Our mission is to create an inclusive workplace where everyone feels validated, respected and heard—and that includes how our coworkers support and respect each other. 

Learn more about CDW's Diversity & Inclusion efforts.

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