While working remotely is still widely the norm at SpotHero, the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG) managed to plan and host a series of virtual events this month, inviting the team to participate from home!
We sat down with our newest Director of People and Culture, Andy Santos, to discuss his participation in SpotHero Employee Resource Groups and the latest Diversity and Inclusion efforts in the workplace.
1. Are you a part of any Employee Resource Groups at SpotHero? What’s your favorite ERG event you’ve taken part in since joining SpotHero?
“I’m in the LGBTQ+, 1st Generation and Immigrants, and Neurodiversity ERGs.It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Women at SpotHero ERG’s trivia event for Women’s History month will always be memorable to me because it was my first ERG event at SpotHero.”
2. What are some of your goals this year to help navigate and implement an inclusive workplace at SpotHero?
“Helping everyone through education, training, and resources is something that is important to me. My goal is to help people get a deeper understanding of the importance of DEI and provide resources and training that can empower them to be DEI champions for everyone here at SpotHero. For the month of June, we partnered with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a Gender Inclusivity Training that they led for SpotHero employees. We’ve received great feedback from this training and we are looking forward to doing more!”
3. What initiatives is SpotHero taking to ensure we’re diversifying our recruiting and hiring processes?
“We are making sure that our recruiting and hiring process is inclusive. Within the People Team, we share learning resources to support each other as well as key learnings from hiring teams. We also assess the language within our job descriptions to promote inclusivity and post our open roles in sites and organizations where we can reach everyone, especially underrepresented groups in the tech industry. Additionally, we guide hiring teams to ensure that there is diversity within interviewing panels.”
Pride Events at SpotHero
This month, the LGTBQ+ ERG brought in an interactive Gender Inclusivity Training led by Hadeis Safi and Faith Knocke, both LGBTQ+ and Gender Inclusion training facilitators at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. They work to provide professional development seminars to teach others the importance of inclusivity in the workplace, using and respecting pronouns, and breaking down biases to create a more positive environment for all.
If there is one thing SpotHero loves, it’s an entertaining Trivia Night! The LGBTQ+ ERG and allies participated in Trivia Night and went head-to-head in six rounds of Pride-themed questions. Members of the Women’s Employee Resource Group supported the event by selecting and showcasing famous LGBTQ+ people throughout history such as Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, and Billie Jean King.
The winning team of LGBTQ+ Trivia Night was awarded a monetary donation to an LGBTQ+ non-profit of their choice on behalf of SpotHero. Our winning team chose to donate to Brave Space Alliance, which is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ+ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.
Our very own Reggie Owens, Office Manager, is a member of the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and performed live on FOX 32’s Good Day Chicago this month. Check out Reggie and the CGMC performing “A Brand New Day” from “The Wiz!”
The LGBTQ+ ERG wanted to extend the events this month beyond the organization and invited colleagues to attend the Out in Tech Virtual Pride Party, a virtual celebration and networking event for LGBTQ+ folks in the tech industry. Out in Tech is the world’s largest nonprofit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders whose mission is to provide opportunities to their network to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change.
While we couldn’t screen a movie in the office just yet, the LGBTQ+ ERG hosted an at-home viewing party of the Sundance award-winning documentary, Paris is Burning. The film explores the 1980’s New York drag scene and “house” culture that provided a community for performers who were often socially shunned. The film explores topics of race, poverty, gender, sexuality, and encouraged discussion after the movie wrapped.
How You Can Get Involved + More Resources
While June is easily recognized as a month to celebrate the accomplishments and success of LGBTQ+ people all over the world, legislation in the United States is still being passed that allows discrimination and strips basic human rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you are wishing to share ideas with your coworkers, your company’s human resources, or just become a better-informed ally, check out these articles on how you can better support your LGBTQ+ colleagues and friends.
- Legislation Affecting LGBT Rights Across the Country | American Civil Liberties Union
- Terminology for discussing gender | Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide | Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- What’s Your Pronoun? Strategies for Inclusion in the Workplace | Out and Equal
- LGBTQIA+ in Tech: Acceptance and Visibility More Important Than Ever | Dice
- National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network | Directory of mental health professionals working to transform mental health for Queer and Trans people of color
- Affinity Community Service | A Chicago-based social justice organization servicing the Black LGBTQ+ community, focusing on Black women
For more information on how we’ve celebrated Pride Month at SpotHero, visit last year’s LGBTQ+ ERG reflection and interview with ERG leader Grant Nicholas here!