Happy Pride Month to all! Whether you identify as part of the queer community, as an ally of the queer community, or as someone who needs more information to understand what Pride is all about, everyone is equally welcome and important to this conversation. pride-month-has-something-for-everyone-ideas-for-you-and-your-organization

History has shown us that lasting change and peace come from all of us, the majority and minority, together, at a societal level. We all deserve to feel a sense of safety and belonging at work, and there is always something new we can learn every day to be better and more supportive colleagues.

What is Pride? 

For individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or another kind of minority in terms of sexuality or gender (LGBTQIA+), Pride claims our right to equality and celebrates our authentic selves. No matter where you come from, if you’ve felt bullied or out of place, misunderstood or discriminated against at some point, you can relate to that feeling.

Meet the Authors 

We both come from upbringings that were unyielding to people who were different. For me, Kiara, as a transgender woman, my family hasn’t tried to understand or accept my differences. For me, Kendra, growing up and raising a gay son in a very conservative, sometimes hostile community caused a lot of similar trauma and pain.

We work in separate home healthcare offices 600 miles apart, but we’ve gotten to know each other through our volunteer service on BAYADA’s PRIDE Employee Resource Council, or ERC, and we’ve learned a lot from each other.

In our journeys of growth and self-expression, we’ve found an accepting work environment we’d like to share with you. Maybe some of these ideas can also help you in your professional relationships and leadership decisions.

See also
Movember: New Face of Men's Health

What is an ERC? 

Employee Resource Councils are central to our home healthcare company’s work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). Any employee from any role in the national organization can apply for membership in an ERC or propose forming a new one that interests them.

As the name suggests, we serve as a resource to the rest of the organization, helping to inform policy and programming and organize community service, outreach, and DEIB initiatives. It’s been a great networking, mentoring, and leadership development opportunity.

We meet regularly on a hybrid basis: monthly via videoconference, leadership meetings, subcommittee meetings, and annual, in-person summit and training events with members from all ERCs. So far, those include Fostering Acceptance, Inspiring Trust and Harmony (F.A.I.T.H.), Military Community Network (MILCOM), PRIDE, Racial & Ethnic Diversity (R.E.D.), Solutions and Accessibility for Equality (S.A.F.E.), and Women in Limitless Leadership (W.I.L.L.).

Why Culture and Training Matter

We’re fortunate that DEIB principles fit nicely into our corporate culture known as The BAYADA Way. That caring, people-first philosophy, with compassion as a core value, is one of our favorite things about working here. We would not have felt safe speaking out and being our authentic selves in our previous organizations.

BAYADA always strives to hire proficient, outstanding clinicians and other healthcare professionals who already demonstrate compassion, excellence, reliability, and a commitment to do the right thing.

To set the stage, our onboarding process includes training on The BAYADA Way and DEIB. An array of on-demand resources and live webinars allows employees to learn more about DEIB topics continuously. This matters because we must share inclusive language, basic expectations, and cultural competencies.

See also
Quit Your Job and Keep Your Professionalism

Essential Conversations 

Nobody expects us to have already arrived at a workplace utopia. We recognize each other as unique individuals with complex backgrounds and beliefs—that’s what intersectionality is all about.

Together, as colleagues across the organization, we’ve made a commitment to getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. That means openly talking about issues and concerns that are usually avoided in other workplaces and listening to understand.

Our most popular forum is a monthly live webinar called Conversations on DEIB. Each conversation has a topic and a panel of employees, with live Q&A in the chat. That’s how I, Kendra, was first introduced to our PRIDE ERC—they invited me onto the panel for Parenting with Pride.

The beauty of getting vulnerable and sharing our stories is that it leads to progress because employees feel safe asking questions. We love to ask and answer questions with grace and curiosity. The free exchange of ideas has led to more inclusive policies on benefits, floating holidays, bathrooms, and dress codes, for example, and it indeed leads to higher-quality care for clients and families who may be in the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Bottom Line 

Pride matters for everyone because when employees are well-educated and conversant with the principles of DEIB, their organizations are better equipped to provide excellent care for diverse clients and families.

We’re proud to contribute to a culture where all employees can thrive, and all clients can receive high-quality, personalized care with a sense of well-being, dignity, and trust. You can, too!

About the Authors
Kiara Herth is a client services manager with BAYADA Pediatrics who is a transgender woman and co-chair of BAYADA’s PRIDE Employee Resource Council, which supports LGBTQIA+ individuals. With more than 13 years of experience as a home health care professional, nearly six at BAYADA, she has a passion for personal expression, diversity, and equality. 

Kendra De Bruler is an RN clinical manager for BAYADA Home Health Care who is a proud ally and member of BAYADA’s PRIDE Employee Resource Council, where she co-leads a subcommittee on building an Environment of Inclusion and Social Responsibility. With 12 years of experience as a BAYADA Clinician, she is driven by a lifelong passion for education and community service. 

BAYADA
Latest posts by BAYADA (see all)
See also
Inclusion, Part 2: Changing the Culture
Ad
Share This