When we consider just how much time we spend with our colleagues — in meetings, over Slack and Zoom, and in person — it’s no wonder many of us end up sharing some of our personal lives with our coworkers. While many of us don’t share every intimate detail with colleagues, we do want to feel supported and comfortable sharing our true selves with those with whom we spend so much time.
In honor of Pride Month this June, we connected with some of our coworkers who identify as LGBTQIA+ to learn more about their experience of being out at Wrike. By sharing their experiences with the readers of the Wrike blog, we hope to bring more awareness about how we can all support each other’s identities in the workplace.
Manoel Cunha, a web developer from Brazil who identifies as non-binary, said that his experience at Wrike has been markedly different from previous workplaces: “I’ve had very bad experiences in the past, so it generated some anxiety and a sense of self-protection. In Wrike, I have felt more relaxed and belonging.”
He credits small but frequent gestures that reinforce Wrike as a place that is welcoming to those with different sexual identities. For instance, Wrike endeavors to support a range of communities in the workplace through Wrike Employee Resource Communities, including the Wrike With Pride group.
“For me, it was really pleasant to see when I was hired, in the onboarding, there was something about [Wrike's diversity and inclusion policy]. They were trying to educate the newcomers about the company culture, that it was a welcoming, accepting place,” Manoel explained.
Senior sales engineer Danielle Carroll explained that she felt comfortable mentioning her sexuality from the beginning. “In my previous company, I was out with my direct team, but I had to vet someone first to make sure I could be safe,” she explained. “Here at Wrike, I didn’t feel like that was necessary. I could talk openly about my life, talk about going to Pride last weekend. I haven’t been met with any negativity at this point.”
Danielle said she has been encouraged by the reframing of Wrike’s LGBTQIA+ group, Wrike With Pride, to better include those who might not yet feel comfortable being out amongst their coworkers and allies. “Even just renaming the group to be something more inclusive to people who might not be ready to be out, it very much made me feel like I was at a place that cared about people as people, not just as employees.”
For Danielle, her experience at Wrike has been a welcome change from past roles at other companies: “This has been such a breath of fresh air for me to land at Wrike and be surrounded by support and people who view me as a person.”
Cristina Viale, a senior inside sales representative in our Dublin office, expressed that she was encouraged within Wrike With Pride to share ideas on improving the group. “As my nature, I like joining and supporting new networks, so I participate. I’ve been really welcomed within the network. Even though I was new, I could share ideas on how to improve it.”
Cristina has hopes that events such as Pride Month will no longer be necessary in the future. “My mission is that one day, it’s no longer a conversation. I hope one day we can be just respected as humans. I do see that at Wrike, I see the steps they’re taking to move toward that. It’s good to see a company that is actively creating these spaces.”
Cheryl Johnson, a content marketing manager based in Las Vegas, reported that from the time she introduced herself at an all-hands meeting, she felt welcomed. “I mentioned that I had a wife and a bunch of animals, and immediately I was getting messages inviting me to the Slack channel, other gay people were welcoming me,” she said.
“Wrike seems to have a strong gay community just within the company. Immediately I was welcomed and connected that way,” Cheryl reported.
Manoel points out that the Wrike community needs to continue to move forward when it comes to embracing and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community: “There’s always room for improvement in everything, but I would say that we are going in a good way, and we should continue growing because it’s very easy to step back.”
Wrikers have recently been encouraged to include their pronouns in their Slack and Zoom profiles as another step toward ensuring our community feels supported, and many employees have heeded the call. Wrike offices in Europe and the United States have celebrated Pride Month with a variety of events, from drag queen bingo to lip-sync and karaoke battles.
We are aware that not everyone feels comfortable sharing their sexual identity with colleagues for various reasons and that these four accounts may not reflect every experience of being out at Wrike. However, we are hopeful that by bringing more awareness, we will be able to continue to ensure Wrike is a safe place for everyone.