On Feb. 6th, Oracle Pride Employee Network(OPEN) Allies hosted a lunchtime discussion at Oracle HQ about diversity andinclusion in the workplace, and, in particular, what it means to be an LGBTQAlly. What is an Ally? An Ally is a person who supports LGBTQ individuals asthey endure the trials, tribulations, and prejudices too often imposed bysociety. An Ally also spreads awareness of the perspectives and needs of LGBTQindividuals with a goal of preventing or reducing the trials, tribulations, andprejudices. If you fit this description, you’re an Ally whether you know it ornot.
At theevent, a fully engaged audience of active OPEN participants and inquiring mindsreacted to stories they heard from the volunteer speakers about challenges thatAllies faced when supporting LGBTQ relatives, friends, and co-workers, and thechallenges of growing up and living an LGBTQ life.
SaraWoodhull, a former Oracle employee, eloquently explained the most thoughtfulway to ask a transgendered individual about pronoun preference (he, she, they,ze, etc.), alleviating concerns expressed by some in the audience about theperceived awkwardness of using “they” when referring to a single person.
RaymondHixson, a gay attorney at Hixson Nagatani LLP, provided a heartwarming storyabout finding himself after an arduous journey of trying to live up to societalpressures.
Otherspeakers included: Cynthia Chin-Lee, senior manager of Information Developmentand chair of the OPEN Allies group; Traci Wade, Oracle senior diversityconsultant (shown above); Christine Coats, vice president and legal operationsmanager; Jean-Marie Navetta, director of inclusion and learning for thenational chapter of PFLAG; Carrie Elm, principal executive services engineer;Kathryn Mills Gestri, senior principal technical writer; and Joyce Miller,founding member of PFLAG San Jose.
Lunch at theOracle Conference Center was notably delicious, and the event concluded with abeautiful photo of smiling faces.