At BARR Advisory, one of our core values is inclusivity. We strive to make our work environment one where people respect and value others as individuals with unique ideas and perspectives. That’s why Pride is more than a month-long holiday to our associates; it’s a celebration of diverse identities and an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which we can best support our communities throughout the year.
Let’s take a look at what Pride means to a few of our associates and how BARR contributes to LGBTQ+ causes in the month of June and beyond.
“In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of performing and recognizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. While this only became a reality less than 10 years ago, all people across the U.S. now have the opportunity to be with the person they love,” said Daniel Flores Herrera, senior consultant for BARR’s attest services. “This milestone is a very celebratory matter during Pride month, because it also took place in June.”
To Barbara Donatien, manager of attest services, Pride is a time to reflect on the importance of representation and visibility.
“In the past, people identifying as LGBTQ+ weren’t represented in the workplace. Thanks to advocates who fought and continue to fight for equal rights, representation has expanded to all areas of an organization, including those who have a seat at the table.”
Larry Kinkaid, senior associate for BARR’s cybersecurity consulting practice, emphasized the importance of individuality and acceptance that Pride celebrates.
The BARR Belong Foundation
With LGBTQ+ as an impact area for community outreach, the BARR Belong Foundation provides opportunities for associates to engage in programs that are meaningful to them throughout the year.
“When addressing issues of diversity in the workplace, it’s important to go beyond policies and handbooks. There should be actual, meaningful contributions. BARR takes a clear stance when external conflicts regarding diversity arise and shares ways to get involved,” said Flores Herrera.
Here are a few programs in which the BARR Belong Foundation empowers associates to create stronger, safer, and more secure communities:
- BARR’s Annual Day of Giving: In October, we close our doors for one day and give back to our communities through volunteerism.
- BARR’s Matching Gift Program: For every dollar our associates give to an eligible nonprofit, BARR gives a dollar as well, matching up to $500 annually per associate to any 501(c)(3) of their choice. Additionally, each new associate receives a $25 giving card for a charity of their choice.
- Volunteerism Program: Throughout the year, we encourage associates to share causes that matter to them, along with opportunities to give back. BARR also offers associates two days each year to use specifically for volunteer opportunities important to them.
“Associates are encouraged to swap ideas on books and other resources throughout the year,” said Donatien. “Overall, the culture at BARR promotes transparency, where people feel free and open to talk about issues of diversity.”
Celebrating Pride in June and Beyond
“Now more than ever I feel that it is necessary to celebrate Pride,” said Flores Herrera.
Herrera provided a few examples of ways to get involved and support the LGBTQ+ community:
- Donate to your organization of choice, such as causes that are fighting to protect queer and transgender rights.
- Voting is also a way to make a big impact and support LGBTQ+ rights.
- Volunteer at your local community center.
- Support your local drag queens.
Donatien added, “Attending parades and supporting local vendors is a great way to celebrate Pride. It’s also very impactful to donate to causes that contribute to the LGBTQ+ community, like organizations who support transgender rights, respond to homelessness, and more.”
Kinkaid said organizations who want to create an environment of inclusivity should think outside the box, treating DEI as an ongoing practice.
“At BARR, we tackle issues of DEI head-on,” said Kincaid. “ Just like a cybersecurity program, leadership understands that diversity & inclusion is an ongoing process that needs time and attention in order to be effective. You can’t ‘set-it and forget-it’.” He added that organizations should “ask the right question and understand what it truly means to be diverse and inclusive.”
“Beyond Pride month, I believe it’s important to advocate or lend a listening ear for someone who wants to talk about these issues. It’s imperative to make sure everyone feels heard and represented, and simply listening to others’ stories can go a long way,” said Donatien.
Interested in learning more about the culture at BARR and how we can help ? Contact us today.