By Stacey Chosed
This year Pride marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots at The Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. The Riots are considered to be the first movement towards equality for the LGBTQ+ community. To this day the fight for equality and representation continues. The LGBTQ+ community, my community, still encounters challenges every day that most people don’t experience or even consider, especially in the workplace.
When I think of representation in the workplace, I think about equality and full potential. According to a recent study by HRC, 46% of LGBTQ workers say they are closeted in the workplace.
I know what it’s like to be two different people, one at home and one in the office. It’s exhausting, always trying to remember what story you told and to whom. When you pretend to be someone you are not you lose a bit of yourself and your productivity. It’s hard to fully concentrate on your work because you are always wondering if someone noticed something.
Here at AT&T, I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented professionals who enable diversity and inclusion. I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore and can work without worrying who knows I am gay.
The unfortunate truth is not every employee works in the same environment as I do. There are still too many employees who are afraid to be themselves or report negativity in the workplace.
Success and equality in the workplace are only possible when everyone feels comfortable to be themselves. This starts with us and communication... going back to the basics. Treating and communicating with others in the same manner you want to be treated. This will foster an environment of productivity without pause.
It’s all about representation without discrimination!
Stacey is currently Chief Operating Officer at LEAGUE at AT&T. In addition to her work at LEAGUE , she is also Lead Product Marketing Manager, Edge Solutions at AT&T Business, where she is responsible for portfolio messaging and industry positioning. Stacey received a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from The University of Arizona. She lives in Dallas with her partner and their son.