Stronger together: Fostering authenticity and visibility during Pride month and year-round

by The Smartsheet Team

Stronger together on rainbow background


Pride month is a time to celebrate authenticity and visibility, and to take pride in our identities. It’s also a time to appreciate all of the things we have accomplished together as the LGBTQ+ community and allies. We know that every voice is important and that all of our voices are stronger together than one alone. This month, and every month, Smartsheet embraces everyone of all races, genders, and identities.

To celebrate all people under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, we strive for equal representation for all. Here at Smartsheet, we’re committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to be themselves. We know that having a diverse workforce is beneficial for everyone and drives innovation, teamwork, and growth.

A fundamental piece in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion are our various Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that give people the space to show up, collaborate with others, and celebrate their unique identities as part of a greater group. The Rainbow Collab ERG is a pillar of support, advocacy, and community for LGBTQ+ employees, who are often underrepresented and less visible in the workplace.

“Smartsheet is the first place I've worked where I felt like it was ok to set out a photo of my husband. It truly changed my mindset about where I was, and what I was bringing to the table. That single photo on my desk dissolved a lot of guarded behaviors that I didn't realize I had.” — Kevin F., Sr API Technical Writer at Smartsheet

Smartsheet and the Rainbow Collab host and participate in Pride events around the world, from in-person local parades and celebrations of visibility in Sydney, San Jose, Boston, London, and Seattle, to virtual Drag Queen Bingo – just to highlight a few. And on a more personal level, Smartsheet actively promotes an environment of inclusion every day through many of its benefits, policies, and practices.

Building a community that embraces authentic visibility

Smartsheet encourages its employees to show up authentically in the workplace and know, with confidence, that they’ll be supported, heard, and valued. For some, that just means being able to talk openly about their families, share stories, and connect with their coworkers on a more personal level. 

“For most of my career, I had a working life and a non-working life,” says Andy S., Senior Manager, Large Enterprise Solution Engineering at Smartsheet. “I didn't bring my full self to work and my career suffered as a result.  Being fully myself at work has changed the way I show up and has made me much more successful, but I couldn't get there until I was ready to be visible by talking about my life to my coworkers, just like they talk to me about theirs.  I remember how scared I was the first time I mentioned my husband in a sentence at work, but I'm so glad I did it. Allowing myself to be visible was the last step to fully accepting myself.”

Everyone deserves the freedom to share the lives they lead and the people they share it with. When asked how coworkers can show their allyship, Andy explains, “When we talk about our lives outside of work and talk about our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, those conversations shouldn’t include any uncomfortableness. That's an easy way to be an ally. It doesn't always have to be something big and scary like protesting or calling your government officials; everyday little things go a long way.” 

Making close connections with co-workers becomes more difficult with a dispersed workforce. In addition to allyship, it’s important to build closer, more human connections with one another. Emily S., Director of Product Management at Smartsheet adds that “seeing people’s pronouns listed in meetings immediately sets a tone for inclusiveness. Beyond that, I appreciate it when people take a genuine interest in their coworkers. We spend a lot of time together, so it's nice to feel comfortable showing up authentically.” 

Ultimately, we believe that personal connection and acceptance are an integral part of the human experience, at work and outside of it. “Don't dim your sparkle,” encourages Mary Ashley G., Manager, Talent Experience & Operations at Smartsheet. “The world is changing, and there are more people than you realize that will accept you for exactly who you are and offer support when you need it.” It is because of our varied talents and experiences that we can thrive, and we encourage everyone to come together and be stronger because of it.

We all are here for just a moment.  We're better served to be kind to each other, to accept each other at face value, and to treat each of our co-workers with the same respect and dignity that we'd want to receive.  If we can all do that, we'll all be happier in the little bit of time we get. — Andy S., Senior Manager, Large Enterprise Solution Engineering at Smartsheet

Learn more about the Smartsheet community

Smartsheet is a place that embraces everyone as their authentic selves, both inside and outside the workplace. We are deeply committed to nurturing an inclusive, diverse, and equitable culture, and living out our values authentically year-round.

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