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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 belongs.

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  |  Vice President, Contracting Operations (he/him)
Be a good listener. Don’t assume that someone is not LGBTQ+. Treat everyone, including LGBTQ+ coworkers, with respect and dignity. Know that we will all make mistakes sometimes, such as the unintended misuse of a label, and that is okay; apologize and commit to learning from these experiences. 

Anyone can be the catalyst for inclusion and inclusion will enable us to achieve optimal outcomes. Allies can play a key role, by capitalizing on opportunities to bolster the voices of those with less representation. 

Also important, don’t underestimate the impact you can have as an ally. Small contributions can be quite meaningful. A very big THANK YOU to our allies, for all that you do.

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, Digital Velocity (xe/xem)
Identity is a spectrum. Educate yourself on what intersectional identities are. Empower yourself to do your own research, expand your inclusive language, and seek out community with other allies to support your growth.

It's critical to for you to understand how your actions, no matter how small, affect the LGBTQ+ people around you. Choosing to remain silent contributes to the increasing violence and persecution against LGBTQ+ people. Find your strength so that you can stand with our community during a time that we urgently need your support.

Ksenia McAllister  |  PPM Manager – Lenovo (she/her)
Listen to what LGBTQ+ people are saying. Follow LGBTQ+ people on social media and consume content created by LGBTQ+ people. Integrate inclusive language into your regular conversations, professional interactions and/or spiritual life. Create social settings that bring your straight, cisgender and LGBTQ+ friends and family together.

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  |  Business System Analyst II (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.  As an ally, recognize the inherent privileges you have and continue to support others by using your voice and vote. Share your pronouns, respect and use other’s preferred pronouns and chosen names. Support changing the ‘norm’ by using non gendered words when discussing yourself, too. Instead of saying ‘husband/wife’, use ‘partner/spouse’, instead of ‘son/daughter’ try ‘child/children.’ And above all else, be kind. 

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 belongs.

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  |  Vice President, Contracting Operations (he/him)
Be a good listener. Don’t assume that someone is not LGBTQ+. Treat everyone, including LGBTQ+ coworkers, with respect and dignity. Know that we will all make mistakes sometimes, such as the unintended misuse of a label, and that is okay; apologize and commit to learning from these experiences. 

Anyone can be the catalyst for inclusion and inclusion will enable us to achieve optimal outcomes. Allies can play a key role, by capitalizing on opportunities to bolster the voices of those with less representation. 

Also important, don’t underestimate the impact you can have as an ally. Small contributions can be quite meaningful. A very big THANK YOU to our allies, for all that you do.

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, Digital Velocity (xe/xem)
Identity is a spectrum. Educate yourself on what intersectional identities are. Empower yourself to do your own research, expand your inclusive language, and seek out community with other allies to support your growth.

It's critical to for you to understand how your actions, no matter how small, affect the LGBTQ+ people around you. Choosing to remain silent contributes to the increasing violence and persecution against LGBTQ+ people. Find your strength so that you can stand with our community during a time that we urgently need your support.

Ksenia McAllister  |  PPM Manager – Lenovo (she/her)
Listen to what LGBTQ+ people are saying. Follow LGBTQ+ people on social media and consume content created by LGBTQ+ people. Integrate inclusive language into your regular conversations, professional interactions and/or spiritual life. Create social settings that bring your straight, cisgender and LGBTQ+ friends and family together.

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  |  Business System Analyst II (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.  As an ally, recognize the inherent privileges you have and continue to support others by using your voice and vote. Share your pronouns, respect and use other’s preferred pronouns and chosen names. Support changing the ‘norm’ by using non gendered words when discussing yourself, too. Instead of saying ‘husband/wife’, use ‘partner/spouse’, instead of ‘son/daughter’ try ‘child/children.’ And above all else, be kind. 

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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