As Pride Month comes to a close, we want to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and our internal resource group (ERG) Pride@Z and take a look back on all the important (and fun!) moments we had throughout June. In tandem, we want to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done and how Zscaler is helping to ensure every employee feels safe and empowered to show up as their authentic selves every day.
“This was our first Pride Month since the official founding of our Pride@Z ERG and we were able to accomplish so much: Virtual Drag Bingo, collaboration with B@Z on a poetry event, a steps challenge to get folks outside, new logo and official swag, a kickoff at our HQ, book club event, and more!” said Theresa Lucius, Pride@Z Lead and Sr. Manager, Customer Success Operations at Zscaler. “I’m honored to be a part of this ERG where we are empowering folks to just be themselves at work (and to have fun). As our membership continues to grow, we are looking forward to future programming and to learn more about what else we can be doing to make Zscaler a welcoming place to work for everyone. Great things to come!”
Here is a quick recap of the events we held this month:
Pride Month Celebration at San Jose HQ on June 2:
We had a great time celebrating the first day of the Pride month at our San Jose, CA headquarters! We shared information about Pride @ Z, had participants spin the wheel for prizes, and took a couple of much-needed dance breaks.
Virtual Drag Queen Bingo on June 2:
We had an amazing turnout for our virtual drag queen bingo event! Our host nailed every dance routine, and some participants took away fabulous prizes.
Pride@Z + B@Z Poetry Event with Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Tshaka Campbell on June 7:
The importance of our Pride@Z ERG was felt throughout the month, as members of the community and allies banded together, supported each other, and shared personal stories of hardship, triumph, and strength.
“This was the first year I publicly celebrated Pride month, and I am so glad that it aligned with my first year at Zscaler,” said Vanessa Stein, Business Operations Analyst at Zscaler. “I'm grateful to work for a company that promotes authenticity in the workplace. This was something lacking at each company I have worked for previously. I think Zscaler's environment and culture contributed to me feeling comfortable enough to share my story and make many new friends within the Pride ERG.”
Pacer Pride Month Step Challenge:
Our 23 participants walked more than 3,500,000 steps during June to celebrate Pride Month! The person with the most steps was able to donate to an LGBTQ+ charity of their choice.
Beyond Pride Month
While Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate, it’s also a time for reflection and action. After all, Pride Month was founded out of protest.
“What most of our generation thinks of as Pride is crowds of smiling people, music, and celebration. During the SF Pride Parade, seeing same-sex couples embracing or holding hands is so common it hardly registers, but it is a far cry from the original marches, protests, and demonstrations that formed the foundation of Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ movement,” said Ambreen Lakhani, Sr. Mgr, WW Business Operations at Zscaler.
“As sociopolitical tensions have risen in this country, I felt the call to demonstrate better allyship for underrepresented communities. For me, this means visibly expressing my support of marginalized groups and amplifying voices that are often shouted, or Tweeted, over,” Lakhani said. “Pride month provides me a great opportunity to grow in my role as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. At work, attending Pride@Z events as an ally makes me feel proud to work for a company that makes space for everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“At the beginning of Pride month, I was focused on how our activities could make Pride@Z more visible so that closeted or questioning Zscaler employees knew that they didn't need to hide at work, and that they had a a support system in us,” said Adam Auerbach, Solution Architect at Zscaler. “Little could I have imagined all that has happened during the past month and that I would lean on that support myself.”
“With recent changes at the governmental level, the future feels uncertain,” said Stein. “I appreciate working for a company that embraces our rights and our authenticity as individuals. I look forward to working together to make a difference.”
At Zscaler, we value inclusivity and diversity every day and every month of the year, and we will continue to fight to ensure every employee feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work.