PRIDE strides!

By Ellen Cooke

The world recognizes and celebrates LGBTQ Pride each June. Here at National Grid, we strive to live its principles every month with the diverse, inclusive and accepting work culture we’re continuously looking to enhance.

“This June, we took things up a notch in celebration and support of our LGBTQ employees, customers and communities,” says John Bruckner, Executive Sponsor of our PrideUSA employee resource group. “We sponsored Pride festivals and parades, waved our Pride flags and had a great time demonstrating our commitment.”

Take a look …

Boston 48th Annual Pride Parade – Boston, MA (June 9)  

“We were so proud to have National Grid serve as a Bronze sponsor at this signature event, which had a record turnout this year!” says John Rondeau, PrideUSA Co-Chair. “The company and our employees just keep ‘upping’ their support and it makes me personally proud to work here and be part of it all.”

The company promoted the event – and our commitment to the LGBTQ community – with ads and lots of social media coverage. As they have in years past, many employees and company leaders participated in the parade. And there were rainbow-decorated, hybrid plug-in cars at the front and back of our marchers, displaying our commitment to Pride and clean, green energy.

PrideUSA member J’Wynn DeRamos played a key role in organizing and promoting this ‘Rainbow Resistance’-themed event and spearheading the flag-raising opportunity at our company facilities (see below). He says, “I felt really strongly about ‘waving our Pride flags’ – both literally and figuratively. I was so happy to help lead these efforts and so encouraged by support all through our organization, right up to senior leadership.”

Rhode Island 43rd Annual PrideFest – Providence, RI (June 16)
We were also a Bronze sponsor for this large community event, aptly called ‘Louder and Prouder’ this year. Our decked-out rainbow community van was staffed with employee volunteers to meet and greet customers and community members at the festival.

 

Long Island’s 28th Annual Pride on the Beach – Long Beach, NY (June 10)
Attendees at this year’s Grid-sponsored event got to learn about gas safety, recruitment and energy efficiency opportunities at our National Grid booth on the boardwalk. PrideUSA members marched in the parade too.

Central New York’s Pride Parade – Syracuse, NY (June 16)
For the third year in a row, we showcased a National Grid pickup truck, courtesy of Peter Bailey, who drove it as part of the parade. The theme this year was ‘Love is Love Mardi Gras. And our truck highlighted our distinction as one of CEI’s (Corporate Equality Index) Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. We also had employees marching with their friends and family, and handing out goodies to walkers. Therese Blum and Rachel Howe organized our employee marchers and were excited to see their new Syracuse Contact Center manager Dennis Donovan come support the effort. Therese said it was ‘an awesome day’ with overall record attendance of more than 5,000!

Thanks to our Federal Affairs team, we were, for the second year in a row, invited to a reception event at the British Embassy residence in Washington, D.C. Neil Proudman, VP of Maintenance & Construction NE Gas, spoke about National Grid’s commitment to the LGBTQ community, and the progress we’ve made as a company toward building a corporate culture that appreciates diversity and promotes inclusion.

British Embassy’s ‘Love is Great Britain’ reception for the Capital Pride Parade –
Washington, D.C. (June 8)

And beyond festivals and parades …

We let our Pride flags fly – raising rainbow flags in Reservoir Woods, MetroTech, Providence, North Andover, Northborough, Worcester and other locations – see the video.

“This was a first for the company,” says J’Wynn, “and something leaders supported and employees all over got really excited about.” We also lit up our iconic Syracuse Office Complex in rainbow colors.  

PrideUSA co-chair Brandon Dyer says, “As a new Co-Chair of PrideUSA, I’m thrilled with the momentum we have going – for our group and our employees. And I’m looking forward to continuing to promote LGBTQ issues, for the benefit of our employees and the communities we support.”

To find out more about our Pride USA employee resource group – and/or join – contact us at PrideUS@nationalgrid.com.

 

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