Pride month and the LGBTQ community have been close to my heart for many years. I was only a teenager when I first learned that my older brother is gay. After he came out, our bond as brothers became stronger, and our family dynamic also became stronger as my parents expressed nothing but love and support for my brother. This experience started what has become a lifelong journey of proudly being an advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Moving forward into my later teenage years, I began to meet many more LGBTQ people. I fondly remember meeting others in the community and being welcomed with open arms when I would visit my brother in New York City. As I grew into my 20s, many of my friends also began to come out as LGBTQ. It was hard for me to understand that celebrating and supporting people like my brother is not how everyone in society views this community.
I take my role as an ally and advocate very seriously. As the President of Olympus Corporation of the Americas, I feel it is imperative to outwardly champion diversity and inclusion efforts from the top of the organization. I always want to ensure I am setting an appropriate tone and supporting the efforts of the rest of the organization. As I have said many times, I believe that a diverse organization is a more efficient organization, with more opportunities to succeed in a very competitive world. If we manage to embrace our unique identities, we will be stronger than if we all look and think the same.
At Olympus, we encourage the involvement of our employees in D&I efforts through membership in activities and organizations that give people the opportunity to educate and support one another. It’s another way in which we bring our Core Values to life. Our Colleague Affinity Networks (CANs) regularly design engaging and effective workshops and activities that help equip our employees with fundamental knowledge that helps us all become stronger allies in our professional and personal lives. Never underestimate the power of simply listening to one another to develop stronger empathy.
Thank you for supporting Pride 2020!