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ANSYS BLOG

June 30, 2023

Ansys Celebrates Pride Month

Pride Month is about more than just rainbows and glitter. It is a time for the LGBTQ+ community to commemorate its historical struggle for equality, celebrate its integral role in modern arts and culture, and energize the ongoing pursuit of human rights.

Ansys recognizes the critical role companies play in supporting the LGBTQ+ community. This past month, the Ansys Pride Alliance employee resource group (ERG) organized a number of activities to celebrate Pride Month. Centered around the theme of health and wellbeing in the queer community, Ansys fully embraced its core value of Be You.

To kick off the month, Renee DeMay, chief of staff to the Ansys CEO and Pride Alliance executive sponsor, wrote a LinkedIn article announcing the theme and programming. In the post, she calls out important statistics that motivate us to continuously work toward equality for the LGBTQ+ community.

Connection is Key

The first event was a networking social between Talent Acquisition (TA), the Black Employee Network ERG, and the Pride Alliance. We laid the foundation for a stronger partnership between TA and ERGs, which will enable TA to better understand our communities as they recruit underrepresented talent. To facilitate this, we ran an exciting game of Kahoot! that covered Juneteenth- and Pride-related trivia. Knowledge and laughs were shared across the three groups during the event.

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This year, we had the exciting opportunity to host DeMay at two of the Ansys offices hosting Pride events. Alex Moon, Ansys Pride Alliance global co-lead, held a roundtable discussion in Sheffield, U.K., with DeMay, LGBTQ+ employees, and allies. Topics included career journeys, setting up our LGBTQ+ colleagues for success, and advice we would give our younger selves.

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Employee resource group (ERG) members from around the U.K. come together at the Sheffield office for an Ansys Pride Alliance roundtable. From left to right: John Shaw, Alex Moon, Sarah Searby, Teresa Michalski, Sarah McColvin, Roger Barnett, and Renee DeMay.

DeMay also visited our Exton, Pennsylvania, office, where she hosted a fireside chat with our Ansys Government Initiatives (AGI) employees. She talked about her career journey, Ansys’ future, and why being the Ansys Pride Alliance executive sponsor is near and dear to her heart.

fireside-chat

Renee DeMay and Mark Smydra at the head of the fireside chat in Exton, Pennsylvania

To provide more education on the topic of health and wellness of the queer community, we invited author and activist Dr. Julia Serano to speak about the biological complexities of sex and gender. With a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University, Serano uses her education and life experiences as a trans woman to offer perspectives that challenge commonly held beliefs around gender and sex. In her talk with Ansys, Serano detailed the false science behind essentialism and the sex binary, which helps combat the dehumanization of transgender people.

Mix in Some Fun

In both Sheffield and Exton, Ansys hosted Pride-themed bake exchanges as a part of our Pride Bake-Off. Creations ranged from cookies, cakes, and pies to biscuits and much more. Online submissions were also welcomed from Ansys star bakers around the world.

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Garden focaccia by Kate Flood

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Blueberry bundt cake by Kerry Herbert

Ansys employees were also encouraged to participate in a virtual 5K during Pride Month to help us move our bodies and focus on our health. Folks around the globe walked, jogged, and ran their way through roads and wilderness to achieve this goal. They shared their routes and views in our Microsoft Yammer Pride Alliance community — a place for us all to connect on our common goals to stay healthy this month.

To close out the month, Ansys hosted a virtual trivia event to learn about and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Topics included Pride history, pop culture, and general knowledge. It was a great way to spread knowledge and connect with fellow colleagues as we wrapped up a highly successful Pride 2023 at Ansys.

Supporting Our Community

The Ansys Pride Alliance selected the Persad Center as the recipient of our 2023 Charitable Giving donation. This Ansys program gives each ERG $10,000 to donate to a charity of its choice. The Persad Center is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities throughout western Pennsylvania.

In reaching out to the center, we heard exactly how impactful the $10,000 donation will be. Christine L. Bryan, director of Communications and Development at Persad Center, said the following:

“What a wonderful and thoughtful gesture from [Ansys]. Please know that it will be used to continue our work of providing mental health services to the region's LGBTQ+ community. We currently have more therapists on staff than we've ever had in our 51-year history with plans to hire an additional eight by year's end.”

Join our talent community to learn more about our culture, Ansys ERGs, and how you can get involved. 

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