Although pride month is mainly during the summer months for most around the globe, it doesn’t mean that everything we celebrate, fight for, learn, and talk about during the pride months are to be out of sight, out of mind per say. The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way throughout history and we have made some huge changes in this world and how we live today, but we are far from a finished project. There is still so much to do to empower and show inclusion for LGBTQ+ people, and it is so great to see how many people, businesses, media outlets, and brands are showing their support in every single way possible.
Earlier this month I visited Phoenix, Arizona to spend the day at Uber’s PHX office where I got to sit down with Jonatan Armenta, the Global Co-Chair for Uber’s powerful Employee Resource Group (ERG), UberPride, oh and did I mention he is only 24 years old! I was so honored to be able to visit and sit down with Jonatan to really break down UberPride and have him give me all the insights to the amazing things they have accomplished as well as what they are striving for in the years to come.
UberPride began back in 2014 as a small ERG within Uber. Jonatan came onto Uber full-time in 2016 where he got involved in the ERG on his very first day, he was excited, he was curious, and more importantly, he was ready to be part of something bigger than himself. He found such a passion in diversity through growing at Uber and working with UberPride that by 2017 he was in charge of overseeing all of US and Canada for UberPride. With his help, UberPride was able to launch the first full website dedicated to UberPride to help spread its message and it’s now the second largest ERG at Uber.
What makes UberPride such an amazing ERG for the employees are the initiatives that are taken to really show the dedication and support to the LGBTQ+ community that works at Uber. Through major aspects of training and outreach, being a support system for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies, and through community outreach, they are creating a global community that is empowering these individuals to participate more actively in society. UberPride helped incorporate gender neutral restrooms to help make everyone feel welcome and included in every space during the workday. Monthly calls are held with ERG members that give a safe space for everyone to talk as well as discuss ideas to help further the ERG. Uber was even named best place to work for LGBTQ+ members in Mexico in 2017. For members of the transgender community, they are on a mission to make sure that everyone is provided with the abilities to fill out their profile as a driver-partner or as a customer to match with how you identify. I think that’s so incredible and such a great initiative to support and include all.
So what is UberPride today?
Through members and through allies of the LGBTQ+ community, UberPride continues to strive for visibility, better understanding, and belonging at Uber. The ERG and Uber is showing its support around the globe participating in Pride parades and events in so many countries and cities including, South Africa, London, Amsterdam, Australia, Singapore, Chile, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Canada, and USA. Some global initiatives include offering voter registration in the app during the Australian marriage equality voting and partnering with UberHealth to offer free rides to get tested.
I asked Jonatan what UberPride had planned for the next year and he explained that they are focusing on strategies to further the ERG and its members as well as the continued focus of making minorities feel included and welcomed everyday. Jonathan ended the interview with this powerful statement, “As long as there are good people to do work, anything is possible, and one day I want a world where the work is done. If you want change, be the change.”
To learn more about UberPride, please do check out their website and see what they are about and the powerful things they are doing to spark change in the workplace and in the world.