At Xero, we’re proud to support a diverse global community of accountants, bookkeepers, small business owners and people. Every day, they go to work to help people – providing services that make a difference in the lives of their neighbors, their local communities and the world. We are proud to celebrate what makes each and every one of our customers and our people unique.
This month, it was an honor for our teams across the Americas to march in Pride parades in Denver and San Francisco and to show our love and support for the LGBTQ community. In honor of Pride month, we asked some of our Xeros about their experience participating in the celebrations and what Pride means to them.
Stefanie Redmond, Marketing Campaign Manager
“I have been an Ally my entire life and have attended Pride festivities from coast to coast. This year, Xero gave me the opportunity to walk *in* the parade so I could showcase my Pride to our entire Denver community. It feels incredible to work for a company who is inclusive and Xero made sure our presence was seen. We were all smiles, walking alongside the Xero Mini in our colorful t-shirts handing out goodies. The contagious energy of crowd kept us dancing through the morning!”
Debbie Gunning, Talent Experience Manager
“Pride is a celebration of the right to love whoever you want, and to be whoever you want! I’m so happy to have been at this year’s Pride Parade in San Francisco with Xero. Marching down Market Street side by side with my fellow Xeros, in front of a cheering crowd, is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I am beyond grateful knowing I work for a company that supports its employees in living our lives in an authentic way, and puts actions behind our diversity goals by supporting our presence at the parade. As a member of the LGBTQ community, the love and support I felt from our crew of marchers reminded me how lucky I am to work with such amazing people who truly live Xero’s values.”
Kody O’Connell, Developer Evangelist, Americas
“I heard someone say this weekend, ‘Pride used to be a protest, and now it’s a celebration’. I think you could try to dissect that and take a position on what Pride should or shouldn’t be, but that would be missing the point. Growing up gay used to be (and still is for most people around the world) illegal, shameful, and very dangerous. It’s hard to imagine with the wide acceptance of LGBTQ’s and modern civil rights in the western world, that only 10 years ago most queer people did not feel safe in their own neighborhoods, let alone safe telling the people they work with the truth about the people they loved.
We made up stories about needing to get home to our pets when we really were going to see our partners for a date night, or worse, pretended to be straight so that we could have a better chance at succeeding in our careers. Being recognized and welcomed by your friends at work for who you really are is so much more than a more comfortable work environment, it is healing. It repairs real damage done to generations of queer people who were attacked relentlessly simply for being something they had no control over. To every ally and friend who participates in pride, know that you’re doing so much more than you even know to help your friends heal and move forward. That’s what pride means to me today, so thank you!”
Lily Robson, Business Manager, Canada
“Pride for me is one way that we as a company, and as Xeros on the ground all over the world, can show our support for our teammates, families, friends and customers who are part of or identify with the LGBTQ community. It’s a time where we can be allies and take some time to strongly consider our words and actions, and put our money where our mouth is to stand with diversity and inclusion.”
Mike Hall, Designer
“I knew before joining Xero that it was the kind of place where, whoever you might be or love, you would be celebrated and encouraged to do great things. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to work at Xero. It’s a workplace that values acceptance and togetherness and makes me feel like I can be myself at work. But taking these ideas out of the office and on to the streets of San Francisco for the Pride Parade shows how much Xero really cares about its people.
Marching down Market Street dressed in the colors of the rainbow gave me a feeling that I think I’ll remember forever. The sense of love and community from the crowd and my colleagues was contagious and at times overwhelming! San Francisco is such a historically significant place for the progression of the LGBTQ community, and I’m so proud that a company from a little island at the bottom of the world was able to participate in that celebration.”