When companies create an inclusive culture, employees are able to be authentic and thrive. That’s why Argo is committed to celebrating Pride Month.
Coming out and opening up at Argo
“Coming into this industry, my first instinct was that I would need to tone down some of the more obvious presentations of being gay – things like how I dressed, how I spoke and what I spoke about,” says Blake Rogers, Regional Manager, Office Services and co-chair of the Argo Pride employee resource group (ERG).
As time went on, however, Blake realized he could be free to let his guard down. He began sharing more of himself with his colleagues and felt the connection grow.
“The more I gave my authentic self to my colleagues, the more I got it back,” says Blake.
How ERGs help drive an inclusive culture
The Pride ERG is a main avenue for driving LGBTQIA+ inclusion at Argo.
“We’ve seen this huge influx of members,” says Blake. “It’s made me feel so much more plugged into the organization as a whole.”
Mark Wade, Chief Claims Officer, is the executive sponsor of the Argo Pride ERG. Some of the issues he’s surfaced to Argo leadership include pronouns in email signatures and ensuring that healthcare options cover the needs of LGBTQIA+ employees.
“I’ve brought all these up to the execs,” says Mark. “Right to the top, the response has been, ‘Let’s get this done.’”
Everyone can be an ally
Membership in the Argo Pride ERG is not limited to LGBTQIA+ employees. In fact, having allies throughout the company is essential for a culture of inclusion.
“One of the things you can do as an individual is leave space for experiences that don’t look like your own,” says Blake. Rather than asking about someone’s husband or wife, for instance, asking more open-ended questions can encourage colleagues to open up.
“Allies within the company, using their respective positions or roles, help us move forward with the issues that are integral to our community,” says Mark.