Ensuring all employees can show up to work as their true selves is an important part of Ursa Major’s culture. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are one way our team members come together to promote community, acceptance, and authenticity.
Our Queers & Allies (Q&A) ERG helps foster community and connection with Ursa Major’s LGBTQ+ employees and allies. The group organizes social events, conducts outreach to local high school and college groups, and helps guide our workplace culture and company policies to be more inclusive.
What does Pride mean at Ursa Major? Here’s what members of the Q&A ERG had to say.
Maggie Mueller, Systems Engineer
I personally really appreciate that Ursa Major recognizes and supports the diversity in its employees, and I love being a part of that. Our Q&A ERG is small but mighty, and we celebrated numerous Pride Month events, including participating in community events and supporting local organizations.
Gwendolyn James, Staff DevOps Engineer
At work, I want the simple joy of being able to talk to a coworker on Monday mornings about what I did over the weekend with my partner or an adventure I had before I transitioned and have those conversations be non-issues. At Ursa Major, the team I've become a part of has been incredibly welcoming of those experiences, from the interview process on. Once I was hired, the teams I'm co-located with were thrilled to hear my partner and I play board games, and people invited us socially to their homes. Building these social bonds means I show up to work more engaged and feel more is at stake with my work. I do better and more focused work because the company and my co-workers accept who I am. At Ursa Major, I also discovered an out, visible, accepted, and respected community of engineers who are queer. It's a joy to go out to dinner or an after-work social event with people I can fully engage with.
Eddie Rondon, Staff Sales Engineer
As a member of Ursa Major’s Q&A ERG, I care about being an ally to our LGBTQ+ community because I never want any of our employees to feel unwelcome or excluded.
At Ursa Major, it feels particularly important to become a member of our Q&A ERG because our company size is small, and therefore, so is our LBGTQ+ population. Studies show that minorities that are particularly underrepresented and isolated are at greater risk of attrition. Ursa Major has high talent density, and we should strive to make our workplace inclusive, so employees want to stay.
Years ago, one coworker suggested that if our company adds pronouns to email signatures, it sends a message to all employees that we are a welcoming workplace, and they can feel safe being who they are. Another coworker recently said she understood some peers would never accept her for who she is and that in those situations, she is happy to settle for respect and a comfortable distance. I think we can all do better than that.
As an ally, I can’t pretend to understand even a small amount of the hardship our LGBTQ+ coworkers may have gone through, but I can at least help create a larger sense of community. Hopefully, by bolstering a larger group of allies, we can influence our organization and the industry for the better.