I joined Aptar almost eighteen months ago. I joined because I was inspired by Aptar’s purpose, the strategic mission and the strength of the business. However, most of all, I joined because of the people, values and culture. As I reflect on what is happening around us, these mean more to me than ever.
The tumultuous days and the events that have unfolded across the United States and have reverberated around the world, serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. It starts with those all-important conversations. By listening, by trying to understand, by reaching out. By understanding what drives, what motivates each of us. What makes us happy, what makes us angry, what makes us sad, what makes us hopeful? What it takes to feel safe in the workplace, to feel appreciated.
Annually, the month of June provides an important opportunity to reflect on the inclusivity of workplaces from an LGBTQ+ perspective.
Groups worldwide observe and support Pride Month in many ways – and June was chosen in memory of the Stonewall Riots that took place in the U.S. in 1969.
PRIDE month promotes the dignity, equal rights, self-affirmation for the LGBTQ+ community, and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues they face.
During this time when empathy and support for each other is so important, and as we celebrate PRIDE month together, our actions, unconscious and conscious cultivate the everyday experience for employees. It is ok, if there are answers that you don’t know, it is a matter of being comfortable just asking. I encourage everyone to proactively have discussions and solicit input and feedback. There is no need to wait until someone is uncomfortable or unhappy. When individuals feel that they are valued for who they are including the many ways they are unique, be it sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, physical ability, socioeconomic status, religion and others, they will feel they belong and will bring their whole self to work.
This takes intent and commitment. Diversity is an action, inclusivity is cultural, and belonging is a feeling. It does not happen by itself, we can all be leaders if we choose to be and we all have a responsibility to make those around us feel comfortable. And one more thing – and I feel very strongly about this – we cannot be halfway inclusive. It is an all the way understanding and promise.
In the spirit of our Aptar Core values of respect and dignity for all – let me express our appreciation for our LGBTQ+ community and encourage everyone to join in the conversation, be an ally!
I look forward to continuing the dialogue!