Celebrate Pride 2 — employee stories

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June 25, 2019

Fostering a sense of community is one of our core values. Making our workplace inclusive and one that values the perspectives of every one of our colleagues is important to our collective success. As Pride month continues, we are pleased to learn and share more from our colleagues and what Pride means to them.

For IT field support engineer Vlad Florestal, creating an inclusive workplace can be as simple as being respectful to co-workers: “We can provide a safe, judgement-free zone for our colleagues to positively express themselves, to be supportive, understanding, and empathetic to all of their concerns and thoughts. We can be an ear and also a voice. Let them know we are here to help them along their journey of discovering themselves by sharing our own experiences together.”

Like so many others, Vlad regularly takes part in Pride festivities with friends and family. This week, the World Pride March is being held in New York City, and Vlad will be there.

For Amy Ihlen, senior director of HCM Product Management & Strategy, finding a work environment where she could be comfortable being herself was a challenge at first:

“I remember one experience where I heard I was selected for a job only because the hiring manager was also gay. I wanted to scream when I heard this. Instead, I realized that not everyone has the exposure to life events or circumstances that inform their perceptions, and we need to be just as accepting of that. We're never going to agree with everything we see or do, but we still need to treat each other with respect.” At Infor, Amy has found a place where she’s comfortable to be herself.

David Pezzino, vice president, New Business, Discrete Manufacturing, has also found a supportive environment at Infor.

“One of the most memorable moments I had at Infor was on a sales award trip. A senior leader asked me if I wanted him to take a picture of me and my boyfriend while we were at a scenic location. It was a level of acceptance I was not expecting.”

“I think all of us, especially those in the LGBTQ community, have a responsibility to support diversity and inclusion at Infor,” David continued. “We all need to have compassion for each other. We need to educate one another on our differences and, more importantly, what we need or expect. Sometimes, people just don’t know how to act or know what to say around those in the LGBTQ community, and we ‘SHOULD’ all over them: ‘They should know,’ or ‘They should ask me.’ One of the most impactful things that I did while coming out to my friends, family, and colleagues quite late in life was to give them permission to ask questions, but more importantly to say: ‘And this is what I need from you.’ It set expectations and brought us all closer.”

Amy agrees: “We can all act as allies and ensure that our LGBTQ colleagues feel included by creating a culture where everyone is treated the same. I don’t think we have an inclusion problem, but I do think we have an opportunity to have a greater focus on the work people do and how they go about it without judgement based on race, religion, sexuality, gender, or nationality. Our differences make us great.”

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