One of my favorite experiences this summer as an intern was the opportunity to march in San Francisco’s Pride Parade. One of the main values of my department within Google was to always “Bring your whole self to work,” and this event truly allowed me to experience how my coworkers valued the differences in each other.
With the Orlando shootings very recent in our minds, walking in the parade felt like a paramount responsibility. Security was heightened and due to that some organizations in the parade amicably dropped out as they felt more unsafe from the increased level of police officers. During the march, I felt the unity of an entire city and the love, smiles, and dances of all those around me have eternally left a mark in my heart of the power of acceptance and joy.
This experience opened my eyes to what it means to really be an ally to those around me, to openly support those who may not experience the same walks of life as me. It also showed me that it’s a privilege to not understand what it means to be able to “bring your whole self to work,” and I want to address these types of issues as I move into my future roles and end up managing others.