BARR Puts the Spotlight on Inclusivity During Pride Month

June 11, 2024 |

At BARR Advisory, one of our core company values is inclusivity. This Pride Month, we’re taking a closer look at how we put that word into action by fostering an inclusive work environment not just during the month of June, but year-round.

BARR Celebrates Pride Month

For many members of the BARR team, Pride Month is a celebration of individuality.

“Pride month is a reminder for us all to stop and actively celebrate our individuality, differences, and commonalities, and to do our part in building communities with a culture of belonging,” said Kyle Helles, attest practice leader and partner at BARR.

“To me, Pride means celebrating what makes you, you! It’s important to me that everyone can show up and be their true selves in the workplace and beyond,” said Larry Kinkaid, BARR’s cybersecurity consulting manager.

To Barbara Donatien, manager on BARR’s attest services team, 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,” Donatien said.

“Today, Pride is something people can proudly speak about,” she added. “It’s a sign of visibility. To me, Pride is a celebration of life, demonstrating that all people, no matter who they are, deserve to be seen and heard.”

How BARR Leads with Inclusion

It’s a sentiment that sits at the core of our company culture. As with security compliance, BARR treats diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) as more than a checkbox exercise. 

“At BARR, we tackle issues of DEIB head-on,” Kinkaid said. “Just like a cybersecurity program, leadership understands that diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process that needs time and attention in order to be effective. You can’t ‘set-it and forget-it.’”

Promoting diversity and inclusion are ongoing activities at BARR—from teaming up with local nonprofits and career education programs to hire people with diverse backgrounds, to helping associates learn and advance in their careers by providing frequent internal opportunities for growth and development, to prioritizing flexibility and inclusivity so all employees can thrive at home and at work.

Leading with inclusion is the foundation of everything we do at BARR,” said Learning and Organizational Development Manager Lauren Hannawald. “When we all have the freedom to be our whole selves, we are one step closer to a more inclusive world.”

By placing increased focus on diversity and inclusion, BARR has not only fostered a sense of belonging among team members, but also created an environment that embraces new and innovative ideas for increasing efficiency and improving client outcomes.

“Associates are encouraged to swap ideas on books and other resources throughout the year,” Donatien said. “Overall, the culture at BARR promotes transparency, where people feel free and open to talk about issues of diversity.”

Looking Beyond the Virtual Office

BARR’s support of LGBTQ+ causes doesn’t stop at the end of the workday. In addition to creating a work environment that celebrates diversity and belonging year-round, BARR is also involved in tangible efforts to support LGBTQ+-aligned organizations in the Kansas City area and throughout the U.S. through the BARR Belong Foundation, which provides meaningful opportunities for associates to give back in their own communities through initiatives like:

  • 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.
  • BARR’s Annual Day of Giving: Every October, we close our doors for one day and give back to our communities through volunteerism.
  • BARR’s Volunteerism Program: All members of the BARR team receive two additional days of PTO to use specifically for volunteer opportunities important to them.

Other ways to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month include attending Pride events and purchasing from LGBTQ+ vendors and business owners.

“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,” Donatien said.

For organizations aiming to promote inclusion in their own organizational cultures, Kinkaid encourages leaders to “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,” Donatien said. “It’s imperative to make sure everyone feels heard and represented, and simply listening to others’ stories can go a long way.”

Interested in learning more about how promoting diversity and inclusion at BARR helps us provide more approachable, human-first service to our clients? Contact us today.

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