June 1, 2022
June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ voices and culture, as well as activism in support of equal rights. On June 28, 1969, during a police raid of a gay bar in New York City, patrons decided to fight back in what is now known as the Stonewall Uprising. Pride Month emerged from this event as a time of celebration and activism featuring parades, protests, drag performances, theater, along with memorials and celebrations of life for those lost to HIV/AIDS.
I am an LGBTQ+ ally and have been the executive sponsor of the Ansys Pride Alliance employee resource group (ERG) since it was formed in 2020. This is important to me because I have witnessed firsthand the challenges family members and friends have faced being part of this community. The courage they show on a day-to-day basis to live their lives openly and truthfully is inspiring to me. They motivate me to be more open and understanding, and to encourage others to do the same.
One of the biggest challenges LGBTQ+ people face in an office environment is being able to bring their whole selves to work and talk about their lives openly and honestly, without editing who they are. For many in the community, sharing details of their personal identity and lives can leave them feeling vulnerable. These feelings cause self-editing out of a concern for self-preservation. As you can imagine, this can be draining.
At Ansys, we know diversity and inclusion make our company stronger. We recognize that everybody has traveled a different path and is able to offer different perspectives and shared life experiences that are valuable in meeting our customers where they are, and as a team tackling some of the largest product challenges. To me, growing and celebrating diversity at Ansys, whether it be through the Pride Alliance, Black Employee Network, Women in Technology, or any of our other ERGs, will only make us stronger.
The overarching purpose of the Ansys Pride Alliance is to create a safe space and active network for the LGBTQ+ community at Ansys. The group holds inclusive events throughout the year to explore the issues and unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, questioning, and nonconforming people.
Here are few of our activities from this past year:
Pride Month 2022 kicked off early at Ansys with inspirational speaker Jacqui Lloyd, Senior Vice President and Apprenticeship Lead at Citi Bank, as well as games, contests, and social events. I’m incredibly proud of our Pride Alliance ERG. I'm also grateful to work at a company that is supportive of these efforts and those of other traditionally underrepresented people.
As we celebrate Pride Month, I continue to think about what more we can do to break down barriers and remove the negativity and misunderstanding around the LGBTQ+ community. I believe we have only scratched the surface of what can be done. Too many people around the world — our friends, colleagues, even perhaps family members — continue to live in fear, just like those patrons of the Stonewall Inn. And like those patrons, we must all have the courage to speak out and support others when we see injustice in our world.