The NAM Pride Network is moving full steam ahead to ensure all colleagues – as well as their families and communities – feel included and supported.
Maersk’s guiding values are the foundation upon which we build our organization. Chief among them are uprightness, which means (in part), that we are collectively committed to standing up for what is right; and valuing and respecting the richness of our differences. There may be no better display of these values in action that seeing our colleagues proudly walk through the streets of a major city, being celebrated by their loved ones and cheered on by their community.
Last month, the NAM Pride Network participated in a series of events in celebration of Pride. With the help of both Maersk’s global Pride network, Pride@Maersk, and NAM senior leadership, Willman Rivero led the planning for Miami Beach Pride. During the months leading up to the event, Willman received support from NAM Pride Network regional leads Vittoria Passaro and Phil Vacchio to ensure our participation was a success. Additional support from colleagues in the Miramar office helped organize an employee event, and Maersk also sponsored a Family Picnic during the Pride festivals.
These events are a continuation of the tremendous work done by the NAM Pride Network. Last year, their efforts resulted in Maersk’s participation in the Charlotte Pride parade – the first time our company was involved in any Pride event in North America. Though the NAM Pride Network was relatively young at the time, its members were determined that it would be the first of many.
The impact of these events really cannot be overstated. Bringing together different people fosters a sense of community and belonging. It’s an opportunity to learn about the LGBTQ+ community, and I think it really helps people challenge their own biases. We are making it loud and clear that we are here to create a more inclusive environment for everyone, and we’ll continue to not only celebrate Pride but also advocate for equality.
I am proud to see Maersk acting on its values in such a public way. Maersk has always valued our colleagues’ diversity of thought and experience, and it’s exciting to see us showcase that more externally, We want everyone to know that if you work at Maersk, you can be your full, authentic self. I couldn’t be prouder of the NAM Pride Network for all they’ve done to reinforce that message and bring these events to life.
Making a positive impact
Over the course of Miami Beach Pride weekend, Maersk had a significant presence. Between the 20-foot rainbow container (which is rather hard to ignore), dozens of colleagues and their families, a booth, and our sponsorship of the picnic – Pride participants certainly took notice.
“I think it’s more important than ever for organizations to show just how committed they are to fostering a workplace that’s inclusive for everyone. People are really paying attention,” Passaro said.
“There were a lot of people at our booth, many of whom scanned our QR code to learn more about our company. They asked lots of questions and were genuinely interested in who we are and what we do.”
The net effect of our involvement – and the welcoming nature of our colleagues – sent an overwhelmingly positive message about the inclusive culture we offer our employees.
But that positive impact doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Just days before the Miami Beach Pride events were scheduled to start, a civil rights organization issued a travel advisory warning for members of the LGBTQ+ community traveling to Florida due to “risks posed to [their] health, safety and freedom.”
“People were reaching out and asking if I was still going to go,” Passaro said. “While we were there, we were constantly thinking about safety. It can be overwhelming. But it all reinforces how important it is to show up and be seen at these events.”
Supporting more than colleagues
While many colleagues who participate in the NAM Pride Network and events like Pride are themselves members of the LGBTQ+ community, there are others who are there as parents and friends of community members. Ensuring that they are also welcome and supported is a natural extension of our inclusive culture.
A woman who works for our company wanted to show support for someone in her family that is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. They all came together as a family, including out-of-town relatives, who came to walk and share love. This was a company event for our colleagues, but it does really make a difference in people’s personal lives.
Maersk at Miami Beach Pride
To get a sense of what celebrating Pride means to Maersk colleagues, hear from them directly:
I think it’s more important than ever for organizations to show just how committed they are to fostering a workplace that’s inclusive for everyone. People are really paying attention.
While we were there, we were constantly thinking about safety. It can be overwhelming. But it all reinforces how important it is to show up and be seen at these events.
Very happy to feel that I work for a company that supports inclusion as Maersk does. It was very fulfilling to see families with their kids joining this event and it made it even more special!
The time you guys spent organizing and maintaining such a calm and caring environment was definitely felt. It felt more like a family reunion where we partied than a parade! So thankful for allowing us to be a part of it all.
The love and joy I felt at the Pride event was very heartwarming. Everyone was complementing each other, hugging strangers, and just so happy to be there.
I went into this without any expectations…Throughout Pride, I was able to talk to quite a few people who were so open to letting me see them from the inside that it gave me more hope that we, as a company and as humanity in general, will someday not have to make such a hard effort to accept others who are different than we are.
It was my first time supporting a parade and I’m glad it was with the Maersk Pride Team! The energy from the people in the street to the ones walking was awesome!
It was a pleasure to be there! Thank you for arranging a great event. It was a great experience and an inspiration to see so many people from different backgrounds come together to show their support to the LGBTQ+ community at Miami Beach Pride Parade to celebrate diversity, inclusion and equality.
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