I work at a company that is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion (D&I). RetailMeNot’s D&I program launched last year, and since then, we’ve hosted guest speakers, sponsored events and participated in community outreach. No matter the activity, all deliver on a promise to recognize, celebrate and value team members’ differences and opinions.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are another way we encourage people with diverse backgrounds to share perspectives and collaborate. These range from an ERG supporting working parents to an ERG supporting women. And when RetailMeNot announced an LGBTQA+ ERG last year, my response could be summed up in one word: halleloo! And yes, I promise that’s the last Drag Race reference in this article.
I’ve been an ally to the LGBTQ community since I took my first breath, and working at a company that lets you unquestionably bring that love, light and energy to the office is indeed something to be proud of. With Austin Pride on the horizon, our group wanted to share our message for the 2018 event and showcase how we feel free to live out the theme every day at work.
RetailMeNot’s Pride Message Encourages All to “Be You”
Our company’s Pride messaging this year is “Be You.” We want to celebrate and promote everyone being themselves. All are welcome, including (but not limited to) all ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities and physical abilities. Individuals make up RetailMeNot as a whole, and we applaud and welcome every perspective.
This is the theme that you will see reflected in all of our events this Austin Pride, from the festival to the parade. And when talking to my co-workers about what the two words “Be You” mean, I learned that this seemingly simple message isn’t a one-size-fits-all. It holds significantly different value for different people.
How Employees Feel Free to “Be You” at RetailMeNot
“You know that feeling you get when you can just loosen up and be yourself around friends? It’s a great feeling, right? Now, imagine that every day when you come into work and sit at your desk. Being able to bring my full self to work has freed up former avenues of worry surrounding topics such as: What if my co-workers find out I’m gay? What if my co-workers find out I’m gay and have no fashion sense? What if my co-workers find out I still love watching Pokémon (you know, that animated series from the ’90s)?
“Seriously, though, being able to be my authentic self really empowers me to tell the RetailMeNot story to potential new hires, to family and to friends in the best lens possible: an authentic one.”
— Brandon, People, Co-Lead of the LGBTQA+ ERG
“I think that just being LGBTQA+ inherently empowers folks to take action and take control of our life and rights — especially here in Texas. Discrimination in any form has a way of empowering people in my opinion; it’s a catalyst for action. RetailMeNot supports that by funneling funds, time and energy to those who want to help our community, both internally and externally. When a company has a person’s and a community’s back like that, the reach and impact grows exponentially.
“Within myself, it has empowered me to live my truth at work. The more that we as individuals can do that, the more of a domino effect it can have. The more your co-workers know your true self, the more in tune with your humanity they become. RetailMeNot and inclusive companies like it are building in this space as a default now. It feels good, y’all.”
— Stiles, Labs, Leader of the LGBTQA+ ERG
“When you have a leadership team that not only supports employee resource groups representing different minorities and lifestyles but also is very focused on promoting diversity and inclusivity within the organization, it completely changes the ambience at work.
“It makes you feel that no matter what your background is, you are as welcomed and valued as any other individual. Therefore, everyone is more likely to share thoughts, customs and ideas, and this helps you appreciate different points of view and cultures.”
— Oscar, Product
“One of the things I love about RetailMeNot is the importance we put on being able to bring our true selves to work. It’s incredibly empowering, and I’m grateful. Transparency has always been a core value here, and the open dialogue between me, my team, my manager and our execs is unlike any experience I’ve ever had in the workplace. It challenges me in ways I never thought possible.
“I’m particularly proud of our diversity and inclusion initiative. When it launched, I never imagined it would grow the way it did, but I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve achieved as a company. Our program celebrates how unique each one of us is while also allowing us to bond with those who share similar experiences, feelings and passions.
“This year, I’m super excited to be walking in the Pride parade with one of my best friends. I’ve known him for 22 years, and I will walk for him, his husband and all the friends who have touched my life in so many ways. And when we walk together as a company, we know we have the full support of our leadership team. I feel so lucky to have a CEO who gets it. And I promise I’m not kissing up. We don’t just talk the talk here, and that’s everything!”
— Krista, Marketing
“At RetailMeNot, I don’t have to hide the things that I love, including my personal style. My accessories are the biggest part of my wardrobe, including my hats. I also like to add fun pops of color, whether it be my pants or hair accessories. At the end of the day, I can be me by wearing the things I truly feel good and confident in. In return, I bring that positive energy back into my work.”
— Samantha, Operations, Events Lead for the LGBTQA+ and Mosaic ERG
“To ‘Be You’ at RetailMeNot is knowing that I walk into a safe place every day, accepting who I am, loving myself for who I am, and showing that I am proud of who I am. RetailMeNot facilitates this in so many ways, such as lip sync performances on stage in front of the whole company, planning Austin Pride festivities and enjoying one of our many ERG activities. I’m lucky and grateful for an office such as this.”
— Trevor, Customer Support
“I’m a designer and a mom. I’m vegan, I love to watercolor, and I get super excited to watch early morning infomercials in hotel rooms when I travel. My husband is a stay-at-home-dad, previously a middle school science teacher. He knows everything there is to know about Texas plants, wildlife, archaeology and prehistoric history. He’s bisexual, truly loves doing the laundry and 100 percent is the best person in the world.
“We live in a tiny studio with our baby and two dogs. By ‘society’s standards,’ our choices about who does what and where we live might be weird or odd, and I’m always prepared to deflect it all with a joke and a smile. But at RetailMeNot, I’m just a person with interests, passions and an amazing family. At RetailMeNot, I’m not on the defensive, and my co-workers know everything about me. Here, we’re all celebrated for being who we are, and there’s nothing better than that.”
— Tracy, Marketing
Catch RetailMeNot at Austin Pride This August 11
Look for our loud and proud selves (we have a playlist ready!) at Austin Pride on Saturday, August 11. If you’re headed to the festival, stop by our booth for conversation, swag and maybe even a repeat Sia lip sync performance from Trevor.
After that, find us marching and probably (read: definitely) dancing in the streets for the parade. This year, we’re bringing a float with us. And there may or may not be a drag queen involved.
It’s our hope that RetailMeNot’s message along with all the other companies’ participating in Pride will inspire you and countless others to Be You today and every day.
And as for me, I’m a writer, an editor and an ally. The fact I work for a company that lets me channel those passions into my career while sharing my co-workers’ stories gives me the confidence to be true to myself and peers on the regular.