Nestle.USA
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Nestle.USA

How and Why Pride at Nestlé Looks Different This Year

A Conversation About LGBTQ and Racial Representation at Work, with the Nestlé Pride Alliance

To start, what is the purpose and value of groups like the Nestlé Pride Alliance and Nestlé Black Employee Association [NBEA]?

David: The Pride Alliance has a number of goals, including helping employees better understand the LGBTQ community and how to be great allies at work, and providing outreach to our local LGBTQ communities through volunteerism and activism.

What does Pride mean personally to you?

Nolan: I think right now what I’ve been reminding myself of is that Pride has been more of a celebration recently because it’s evolved into that, not because that’s its origin. It was a protest for LGBTQ rights. As a white male engaging with efforts to improve racial equality, I’ve been reminded how I have the privilege I have today — it’s because of those protests. Now, I think Pride is a chance for me to use my privilege to speak up for everyone’s rights.

As racial equality conversations expanded this month, how did that make you rethink Pride?

David: We immediately knew we needed to have brave conversations inside the Pride Alliance and across the company, because this is not about just the last few weeks — these injustices have been happening for a long time. We started looking at how we could use this platform that the Pride Alliance has in June to talk about a range of identities: supporting Black LGBTQ youth, creating opportunities to donate to relevant organizations, and sparking conversations with a greater emphasis on the intersectionality of the LGBTQ community.

Was that pivot difficult?

Ishmael: The Pride Alliance came to us [the NBEA] and said they had a month of events planned that they didn’t feel were right. We agreed to combine forces. The Black community and the LGBTQ community at Nestlé should be working together, because now is the time to really come together as allies. As a Black hetero cis male, I had no idea the Pride protests were started by Black trans women — our communities should be supporting each other.

Has leadership been supportive of Pride?

Jonathan: I’ve found our leaders to be very supportive — aside from the fact that they’ve been enthusiastic about things like raising the Pride flag and the trans flag in our buildings, we’ve had leaders send out emails to their full teams encouraging everyone to get involved with Pride conversations and events.

What could the Pride Alliance do better?

Ash: This is the first company I’ve been with as an openly gay person, and I’m proud to work with the Pride Alliance leaders because they’re so clear in their mission. Now, we can do more outreach to bring in a diversity of voices.

What are your goals for how the Pride Alliance and NBEA can impact the company in the future? How are you activating on those goals already?

Ishmael: I’m committed to helping our group drive more of a voice in decision-making, like identifying causes for the company to partner with, and helping develop a path to see strong diversity in leadership through development processes and training.

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Harrison Allen

Public Affairs Analyst and Pride Alliance Communications Lead, Nestlé USA