Tell us about your career at Kantar.
I joined Kantar in 2019 at the suggestion of a former colleague from Thomson Reuters who had also joined the company a few months earlier. Previously I’ve worked in HR roles in a wide range of companies, and now I’m very happy to be part of the Human Resources team that supports our North America business.
How easy do you find it to talk about your sexuality at work?
While I am a somewhat private person, I don’t hide the fact that I am gay, I just don’t overtly talk about it until a conversation moves to personal life and family. Once those topics come up I am very open, and talk about my partner Andy if it is relevant to the overall conversation. I feel that my colleagues at Kantar are very receptive and open in allowing me to be transparent about the personal aspects of my life and so I can be completely open at work.
What does Pride mean to you? How have you marked the occasion this year?
To me, Pride is about being proud of who I am, being part of a bigger community and movement, and not having to hide who I am and who I love. It is a time to celebrate our differences openly. Since we are in a very unusual situation this year with COVID-19, Andy and I celebrated Pride with our close friends “virtually” as well as with our families. My birthday is at the end of June so Pride is always intertwined with celebrating another year older as well. Usually we would go to the Pride Parade in NYC but this year we were there in spirit.
This year marks 50 years since the first pride March. what do you think we could achieve in the next 5 years?
The recent United States Supreme Court ruling that protects gay and transgender people in the workplace from discrimination is something to celebrate. It is another milestone on our journey. Over the next few years, I would love to see more LGBTQI+ people in high ranking roles in our US government who are role models and continue to drive acceptance and change.
What does a good ally look like to you?
A good ally is someone who creates a safe and accepting environment to allow for open sharing. As a gay person, I am naturally a bit protective of my personal life, but that is such a big part of who we are so it is great when I am with people who are open themselves and welcoming to differences.
How do we stand together for equality and promote intersectionality?
During Pride, we should not only celebrate and support the LGBTQI+ community but the Black community AND those that are LGBTQI+ in the black community! We must treat all humans equally as we would want to be treated. No one is better than anyone else. We should pause and listen to our Black friends to understand their struggles and reality. I have had some really open conversations with my Black friends and colleagues recently around the inequities they and their families have been living with and it has deeply affected me and opened my eyes to the subtle and not so subtle injustices that still exist. I have a different appreciation for what the Black community has endured.