Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Today, celebrations include parades, workshops, festivals, parties and concerts, and attract millions of participants around the world.
Lendlease LGBTQ+ ERG:
Lendlease Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) give employees an opportunity to network with others across the business to drive education, volunteer opportunities, engagement efforts and change.
The US LGBTQ+ ERG was formed with the goal –to establish a safe place for LGBTQ+ employees and allies to network, share stories, seek support and find creative and engaging ways to celebrate Pride and other LGBTQ+ events and initiatives.
Today, the LGBTQ+ ERG continues to grow and is now expanding outside of the Lendlease network, partnering with non-profit organizations and industry partners to spearhead positive messaging and change.
Claire Johnston, Managing Director of Lendlease’s Google Development Ventures partnership, serves as the group’s executive sponsor and supports the ERG by amplifying their initiatives not only across the Americas, but across the global organization as well. She provides the group with the resources they need to put events and important initiatives into action.
Pride 2022 – “Pride in Diversity”
The theme for Pride Month at Lendlease this year was “Pride in Diversity” – being proud of one’s true authentic self. The panels and workshops pulled together a diverse group of individuals, unique in both professional and cultural backgrounds.
Throughout June, the LGBTQ+ ERG hosted several keynote events for the Americas employees, including an ‘Ask Me Anything!’ panel featuring self-identified LGBTQ+ employees, a Gender Identity workshop hosted by Kay Martinez Consulting, and a Pride Pep Rally hosted by Build Out Alliance at The Penthouse in our 277 Fifth development. The events, both in-person and virtual, served as educational opportunities for all Lendlease employees to learn about Pride Month, gender identity and the importance of pronoun use, personal coming out stories, and the challenges of being one’s true self in the world.
‘Ask Me Anything!’ Panel:
This panel discussion featured self-identified LGBTQ+ Lendlease employees, allowing them to have a platform to share their personal stories as an open and out professional.
The panelists shared coming out stories, the challenges same sex couples face in gaining equal access to reproductive and family resources, unconscious bias and LGBTQ representation in the media and comedy. Highly informative and engaging, the panel gave employees unique insight into the experience of their LGBTQ+ colleagues, and learned firsthand how to be supportive, strong allies in the community.
Gender Identity Workshop with Kay Martinez:
Lendlease invited Kay Martinez Consulting for a one-hour digital workshop exploring the basics of gender identity, from pronouns and identity to the history of transgender individuals and institutions in the US and beyond.
Project Manager Amelia Wehe served as one of the panelists on the day, emphasizing that discussions such as this one are key to “[driving] more conversations about the way societal gender expectations and gender conformance affect the way each one of us experiences the world – not just trans/gender-non-conforming folks”.
An important springboard, the basic understanding and vocabulary introduced in the workshop served as a key reminder as to why the inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, two-spirit, and all gender non-conforming individuals are integral to not only Lendlease’s core values, but to society as a whole.
Pride Pep Rally at The Penthouse:
Prior to Pride weekend, the Lendlease LGBTQ+ ERG alongside Build Out Alliance hosted 75 guests spanning the architectural, engineering, and construction management industries for a Pride Pep Rally at 277 Fifth in New York. Build Out Alliance promotes and advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community within the building design and construction industry.
The rally was a huge success, with industry professionals from across New York coming together to build excitement for the weekend’s upcoming festivities. Amidst the excitement, the pep rally provided the opportunity to discuss ways forward for the LGBTQ+ community in construction and engineering fields, while acknowledging the incredible work that has been done up to this point.
As a global company, with the world facing continued social, political and economic challenges, there’s never been a more important time to amplify the voices of employees as drivers of change. This Pride Month allowed for LGBTQ+ employees to share their own unique perspectives, celebrate their diverse backgrounds, and equip their colleagues with the information and tools required to foster a safe, inclusive workplace.