For as long as I can remember, June is a month of celebration. Growing up, it was when school let out for the summer, finally granting me freedom to sleep in and hang out and enjoy the warm sun. In college, June was when internships and fun trips took place—reminding me that the world was my oyster and quenching my thirst for knowledge. Later, June symbolized wedding season. Weekends were booked running around the country watching as friends started the next chapter of their lives. And now, here’s another reason to celebrate June: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.
LGBT Pride Month originated in the United States and grew into an annual celebration following the Stonewall Riots in New York City in June, 1969. The month has three main premises: that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.
In the spirit of LGBT Pride Month, I met with Dave Hughes, a Technology Development Manager at Intel, and one of the members of IGLOBE (one of the great Employee Groups Linda talked about) and a long-time spokesperson for the group. Dave manages a team of software engineers who provide software support to applications on the Assembly/Test Technology Development (ATTD) manufacturing floor and has been with Intel for 14 years. Before Dave started in 1996, he told me one of the selling points for him to join Intel was the fact that it had an LGBT employee group—something that is more commonplace today, but a differentiator back then. On his first day of work, he joined IGLOBE and hasn’t looked back since.
In Dave’s words, “The purpose of IGLOBE (and other employee groups) is to help make Intel a welcoming place to work” which touches on one of our core Intel values, Great Place to Work . For Dave, IGLOBE was also a way for him to build his network and get acclimated to his new surroundings. “When you join a big company, it’s easy to feel small and overwhelmed. IGLOBE provided a great network to meet people and get connected on a larger scope.” Over the years, Dave went from a run-of-the-mill member to holding several executive positions with IGLOBE, including cross-site president. “Because I have been an active member of IGLOBE, including serving in leadership roles, I have a network that spans the company. I’ve met face-to-face with a Senior Vice President; people at a high level of management know who I am. This would have never happened if I had a) stay closeted b) not participated in employee groups.”
Over the years, Dave can see the changes that have occurred in the environment. What was once seen as radical and different has now become a non-issue. He shared a story about the first time he brought his partner to the company holiday party—it was uncomfortable to others and alienating to him and his partner. Over the years he has witnessed progress where if he brought his husband to a work event today, no one would think twice.
When I asked Dave for any parting comments he would want to share, this is what he said. “For me, Pride month has followed the same cycle that I’ve observed with the LGBT community within Intel. Pride month used to be more of a big deal to me than it is now and it really has moved to the stage of no longer being an issue. For many years, we needed Pride month to come together and celebrate, network, have a parade and festival and have a good time. I think now that we’ve done that for a number of years and there are so many resources available on the internet, it’s not as much of a key part of our community’s’ annual calendar, so to speak. But, regardless, Pride month represents how far we’ve come and that’s worth celebrating! (To those of you considering Intel as an employer) I can whole heartedly recommend Intel as an employer for LGBT people. In my experience, the day-to-day work environment is very welcoming, the company, as a whole, is supportive, and you will have the opportunity to meet and network with some terrific people.”