Pramerica’s Pride business resource group aims to make its LGBTQ team members feel at home, and to educate others while having some fun.
Diversity is critical to any company culture, but it must be done right. And coupling it with a strategy for inclusion is one of the best ways to ensure success.
That’s why at Pramerica, team efforts are channelled into making its LGBTQ staff feel at home. The company’s Pride business resource group (BRG), for example, places support for members of the community and their allies at the heart of the company’s values.
On a recent visit to the company’s Letterkenny office, we learned more about the Pride BRG from some of its key drivers.
Diversity and inclusion
Tracy Moore, an employee relations specialist at Pramerica, introduced us to the purpose of the Pride BRG. She explained that with employees from more than 35 countries working at the company, Pramerica is “very proud of that diversity”.
“But with diversity, it is key that we offer employees opportunities for inclusion, and pride is just one of those examples of an opportunity for inclusion for employees here at Pramerica,” she said.
Moore outlined the five objectives of the Pride BRG: “To raise awareness around LGBTQ+ issues inside and outside of the organisation, to create a sense of community, to build relationships, to be a catalyst for change, and help Pramerica attract and retain members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
‘A really beautiful thing’
Pauric Havlin, a digital campaign specialist and the communications lead for the Pride BRG, said that, in the north-west of Ireland, Pramerica is “already a role model for lots of companies” when it comes to such areas as tech, financial services and creativity. “The pride BRG shows that we can lead the way in this area as well,” he added.
Speaking to his own experiences joining the company as an LGBTQ person, Havlin added: “Knowing that you have that support from the top down is a really beautiful thing.
“This is the first time that I’ve really felt that being different is actually an advantage, because you’ve got more to offer outside of your normal role.”
Acceptance for current and future employees
The primary focus of the group at the moment, according to Pat Doohan, is educating people about being an ally. He highlighted the importance of letting others know that “you don’t need to be part of LGBTQ+ to actually be an ally”, but that “an ally is just as simple as someone who supports LGBTQ+ friends and family.”
Doohan is a software developer at Pramerica and chairperson of the Pride BRG. He believes that the resource will benefit people already working at the company, as well as those to come.
“Here in Pramerica we believe that the Pride BRG is the next step in increasing the culture here at Pramerica, in increasing diversity and acceptance for our current LGBTQ+ employees and our future hires,” he said.
But to make that a reality, Moore added, enjoyment is crucial. Speaking about the Pride BRG and its purpose within Pramerica, she stressed that it’s also “so important to have fun”.