At Foundation Medicine, we celebrated PRIDE throughout the entire month of June, coming together and sharing stories, resources, and photos with each other both in person and virtually on our PROUD slack channel. Celebrating PRIDE is an important part of our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts and ongoing commitment to cultivate a sense of belonging, so all of our employees can bring their authentic selves to work. Our employee resource network (ERN), PROUD (Promoting Representation, Openness and Understanding of Diversity), for LGBTQ+ employees and allies hosted a series of all-employee educational, social, networking, and celebratory events. PROUD, in collaboration with the Foundation Medicine communications team, also provided tools for employees to use to show their pride and allyship via email signatures, pride-themed emojis, and rainbow-colored zoom backgrounds.
Additionally, Foundation Medicine took an important step this year by launching our first annual DE&I report to share the meaningful and notable progress we’ve made since establishing our Office of DE&I in late 2020.
PROUD officially launched in March 2020 as a resource and community for Foundation Medicine’s LGBTQ+ employees and allies. In collaboration with our broader DE&I team, this ERN works to increase understanding of diversity and representation by developing educational content, facilitating topical training sessions, hosting patient speaker events, and collaborating with other ERNs. June was full of fun and educational events designed to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community.
Here are a few highlights:
PROUD kicked off PRIDE month with an inspiring session led by the facilitators at Greater Boston PFLAG, the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. The conversation focused on how to best support LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace. Attendees learned ways to proactively support LGBTQ+ colleagues through individual, interpersonal, and institutional best practices, as well as how companies can implement policies that affirm and support LGBTQ+ workers in order to attract and retain a talented and diverse community of employees.
Mid-month, BAHA (Black and Hispanic Alliance) and PROUD hosted a day-long employee engagement event on Slack and LucidChart called “The Road to Liberation: Pride Month Would Not Exist as We Know it if Juneteenth Did Not Happen.” This event provided an opportunity for employees to share truths about their intersectional identities and learn about the experiences of others. The stories and sentiments shared during the engagement will be transformed into a slide show of quotes and excerpts from the day, for all at Foundation Medicine to learn from.
The first in-person networking event for our ERNs since the pandemic was held on June 16 and provided an opportunity for members of PROUD, BAHA, UPLIFT (Unleashing the Potential, Leadership and Impact of Female Talent) and Sustain (employees committed to organizational sustainability) to get to know one another, share best practices, plan future collaborations and celebrate Pride, Juneteenth, and more.
On Thursday, June 23, The Creative Foundations Lecture Series, in Association with PROUD, presented a special Pride Month lecture by Katherine Sender who spoke about LGBTQ+ representation in media. Katherine is an author, filmmaker, and professor in the communication department and the feminist, gender, and sexuality studies program at Cornell University. The Creative Foundations Lecture Series is a virtual event that brings the voices of artists of many trades to the Foundation Medicine community to share inspiration and discuss their creative process. The Creative Foundations Lecture Series is committed to featuring the voices of LGBTQ+, BIPOC, AAPI, and LatinX artists and creatives within our programming.
On Saturday, June 25, some of our colleagues in Raleigh, N.C., attended the Out! Raleigh Pride parade which was a fun opportunity to meet new people from across the LGBTQ+ community and reinforce Foundation Medicine’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As part of our Leaders Live series, which features conversations between Foundation Medicine leadership and champions in the DE&I space, Jennifer Brown (she/her/hers), an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, diversity and inclusion consultant, and author spoke about inclusive leadership, empathy and authenticity in the workplace. She emphasized the importance of fostering psychological safety so people can feel comfortable bringing their true selves to work and unify across differences in service of our mission.
Closing out June with a bang, PROUD hosted a virtual pride party featuring music, speakers, meet and greet sessions, and more. And lastly, on Saturday, July 16, our west coast FMI colleagues marched in the San Diego Pride Parade, many accompanied by their families.
For more information about Foundation Medicine’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.