Iron Mountain recently presented at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Seattle, Washington in October. This year marked the 20th summit for Out & Equal which brings together LGBTQ+ employees, HR, inclusion & diversity professionals, employee resource group leaders, executives, and allies who are working to create a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ employees across the globe. With over 6,000 attendees and 90 workshops, Iron Mountain presented in its panel, “Bridging Business, Philanthropy and Intersectionality: Our Pauli Murray Story.”
The presentation explained how alignment between external corporate giving and internal inclusion and diversity goals advance LGBTQ equality. The presentation demonstrated our Living Legacy partnership with the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice (PMC) as a case study. Despite so many accomplishments and relationships with well-known leaders, the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray is largely an unfamiliar figure in American history: IRM’s support increased attention on her legacy as well as helped her childhood home become a National Historic Landmark in 2017.
The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray was a 20th century African American human rights activist, attorney, historian, author and faith leader and the National Historic Landmark designation is the first in the US focused on a LGBTQ black woman. By sharing Dr. Pauli Murray’s story and discussing our work with the PMC at the Out & Equal conference, Iron Mountain connected our company’s philanthropy with inclusion and diversity goals.
“The partnership between Iron Mountain and the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice not only shows our commitment to preserve and make accessible cultural and historical information and artifacts, but it also underscores a unique way to celebrate intersectionality and LGBTQ history,” said Alisha Perdue, Manager Community Engagement. “Our goal is to build mutually beneficial partnerships that represent the best outcomes for our mission, our community, our partners and our business – we shared that at the conference and how an external partnership also helps our employees from different backgrounds feel welcome, respected and that they are treated equally.”
The workshop was presented by Barbara Lau, Executive Director of the PMC; Bryce Tache, Director of Iron Mountain’s Inclusion & Diversity; Shannyn Burch, Capability Development Manager and Vice chair of the LGBTA Employee Resource Group; Cullen Hoffman, Senior Imaging Production Specialist and founding member of the LGBTA@IM ERG; and Alisha Perdue. Key themes included creating a safe, accepting workplace environment where employees can bring their full selves to work on a daily basis.
“The Out & Equal conference was such a great experience, not only for myself but for Iron Mountain as a company and our employees,” said Cullen. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, being able to see Iron Mountain participate in an event like this and showcase our dedication to inclusion and diversity, I believe, sends a strong message to those we work with and those we work for. It’s so important, especially for employees like me, to know that my company values me as a person and is dedicated to making Iron Mountain an inclusive place to work. It changes the environment at Iron Mountain, making it easy to bring my whole self to work, and in turn, makes it so that I can showcase my talent as an employee, rather than be stressed about the consequences of coming out at work.”