At ZS, we celebrate our pride all year long. Throughout June, however, ZSers around the world united in full force in recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month. And this year, ZSers had even more to celebrate after our firm was named a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Pride@ZS, an affinity group for LGBTQ ZSers and allies, promotes diversity and inclusiveness at work and beyond through education, social events and community outreach. Local Pride@ZS chapters in ZS offices around the globe were instrumental in making this year’s Pride Month one to remember.
The Chicago office celebrated by hanging a “words of affirmation” poster in the lunch room where ZSers could write what pride means to them. “We wanted to recognize the fact that pride is both a personal and communal celebration of self-expression and diversity and encouraged ZSers to share what that means to them,” said Ann, one of the Chicago event organizers.
Later in the month, they also hosted an interactive trivia session – because if there’s one thing ZSers love, it’s a good competition! Not only did the trivia session tap into ZSers’ competitive spirits, it offered a unique way to learn more about the significance of the Stonewall Riots on the 50th anniversary of this defining moment in history. Finally, ZSers came together for a pride-themed lunch featuring rainbow-colored treats and interactive stations where ZSers decorated cookies and struck poses in the photo-booth.
Chicago ZSers also joined forces with the nearby Evanston office to participate in the Proud to Run 5K and 10K race, an annual event that celebrates LGBTQ pride in a healthy way and raises funds to support the community of the greater Chicago area. ZS was happy to support the event as a corporate sponsor for the third consecutive year.
While cities around the world hosted Pride parades, Evanston ZSers put their own creative spin on the concept. Teams of ZSers broke out their glue guns and glitter to create their best LGBTQ-themed mini floats. Each team chose an LGBTQ charity to support and ZSers voted for the winners by donating money to their causes. The winning floats were revealed at a Pride Month “Ted Talk-themed” happy hour, where the top three teams were given additional money to donate to their selected charities.
The New York office hosted a mix of educational and social events where ZSers learned about the history of Pride Month. A high point was participating as a group in the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run.
London and Frankfurt ZSers helped our firm reach a new milestone by marching in our first-ever Pride Parade." Just seven months ago, the thought of marching in the London Pride Parade seemed like a distant and complicated pipedream,” said Pedro, a London ZSer who helped organize the event. “As we marched through the streets, I looked around and saw my fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies celebrating diversity and marching for equality. It was an incredibly special moment.”
In early June, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ individuals, which gave the São Paolo office even more to be proud of in June. They adorned the office with colorful decorations and spread messages of encouragement and support throughout the month.
San Francisco ZSers joined in an office movie night where they watched Pride, an LGBTQ historical comedy-drama based on a true story of gay and lesbian activists who raised money to help families affected by the British coal miners’ strike in 1984. They concluded the month with a happy hour to celebrate the evolution of LGBTQ rights and raised funds for the San Mateo Country Pride Center.