AstraZeneca is supporting its LGBTQ2S+ workers and drawing new talent with a new employee resource group.
The AZPride Canada ERG will focus on providing social support, as well as career and employment development and education, for LGBTQ2S+ workers. The group recently co-hosted several Pride Month events, including a lunch using vendors from the LGBTQ2S+ community, a charity run and a speaker session designed to foster education and awareness on what the terms in the LGBTQ2S+ community mean and how to be an ally.
“One of the speaker’s questions . . . to the audience was how educated they felt they were on this topic,” says Jaime Duguid, AstraZeneca’s human resources business partner and lead for its inclusion counsel in Canada. “The range was significant, from, ‘I know nothing’ to ‘[I’m] extremely comfortable’ and everything in between. You can’t be an ally if you don’t know what you’re being an ally to.”
The education piece in the speaker session really hit home for many employees, she said, noting that talking about allyship is a bridge to learning how to support all marginalized groups. However, she adds the ways in which people can show or practice allyship may differ based on the comfort level from group to group or person to person.
The session also covered the importance of practicing allyship throughout the year, long after Pride Month is over. “It comes down, fundamentally, to psychological safety and creating a safe space in which people can always be their authentic selves,” says Dugiud.