ZS celebrates our vibrant, inclusive and diverse culture during Pride month, with virtual activities across our global offices. The variety of 2021 events – a virtual art gallery, Pride march, LGBTQ+ trivia contest, Pride movie discussion and more – represent the many ways ZSers actively acknowledge and uphold equality and inclusion for all.
While the celebration lasts throughout the month of June, our commitment to recognizing the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals is year-round. ZSers foster a culture of trust, collaboration and inclusion through business resource groups, including Pride@ZS, a group for LGBTQ+ ZSers and allies that promotes awareness and belonging at work and beyond through education, social events and community outreach. A new initiative launched in March empowers ZSers to become more informed allies of marginalized communities. The year-long “Count on Us” program kicked off with a week of events focused on helping ZSers begin their allyship journey, identify opportunities to be a strong ally, and effectively listen to amplify marginalized voices.
Tanya S., associate principal at ZS’s San Francisco office, tells us why she joined Pride@ZS. “Pride means being part of a community that celebrates diversity to foster inclusion and increase representation for all people. Being an experienced senior hire to ZS, who had already long been out as a gay in my professional career, I joined the Pride@ZS team as a way to help increase representation in our office. Being out and vocal about my status, I hope to provide visibility to others in our office so they can feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work, as I do.”
We spoke to ZSers across the globe to learn what pride means to them and how they are celebrating this month and beyond.
"Pride has always been a celebration of acceptance without judgments for me. I joined Pride@ZS because it is one such initiative that is vocal about diversity and stands up to the ferocity of non-inclusivity. Since joining the pride team, my ZS journey has been insightful and winsome. I believe that this pride month is all about coming together virtually to make a real change." - Vidul D., associate, New Delhi.
"To me, pride is saying to the world - this is who I am and I'm proud of it! As part of the Pride@ZS team, you understand that it's your space to recognize your true self, know that we are all one and that we should unconditionally support each other. This amazing vibe is why I am a part of the team. This journey has helped me evolve both personally and professionally." - Shiny K., senior designer, Pune.
"I have always been inspired by the LGBTQ/Pride community. I am a proud ally of the community and the way I contribute is by taking part in the Proud to Run event. Last month, I ran a marathon wearing my jersey from the 2018 event. I am proud to have contributed my tiny bit as an ally." – P. Santosh K., consultant, Evanston.
“When I joined ZS after university almost six years ago, I was simultaneously coming to terms with my own comfort being 'out.' Joining Pride@ZS at that time provided me the space to connect with fellow community members and firm leaders and overcome my self-imposed hesitations of being out in the workplace. Over the years, my role with the pride team has changed often, from mentee to mentor to event planner for more educational and social events than I can count. Seeing my colleagues consistently engage and grow with our pride community has solidified my involvement with Pride@ZS as one of the most rewarding parts of my career so far!” – Sean S., consultant, London.
"‘Pride’ to me, as an ally, is being able to support my family and friends and making sure they know they have someone, no matter what. It's also celebrating the wins of the LGBTQ+ community, and working to make sure there are more wins down the line. My favorite pride memories were being able to take my cousin to her first pride parade back in 2016 and the surprises of seeing the first sponge queen, herself (Monet X Change), at the 2018 parade." - Laura B., senior administrative assistant, Evanston.
"I joined Pride@ZS with an aspiration to cultivate empathy and amplify the spirit of unity. I'm grateful to have space where we can show up unapologetically as ourselves. I look forward to learning from my experience and creating an impact in my own small way." - Azhar S., administrator, Pune.
"Although I am not a community member, I like to think of myself as an avid LGBTQ+ ally. My favorite part of pride month is celebrating my LGBTQ+ friends and family members and reminding them that I care deeply about them and the rest of the community. It makes me even happier when I can go to events like the Pride parade and see people out in the streets truly embracing their authentic selves without fear of judgment." - Taylor B., senior assistant, Evanston.
ZS’s passion for creating impact where it matters is as steadfast as it is boundless. Earning a score of 100 on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), ZS garnered recognition as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the third consecutive year. The CEI is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s nationally recognized benchmarking survey and report on corporate practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality.
Fostering a diverse, inclusive and welcoming culture is a natural part of who we are. Our Pride month celebration is another way ZSers take action to treat people right, get it right and do the right thing so that every person can thrive at and beyond our doors.