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June is a time when members and allies of dynamic LGBTQ communities across the world hit the streets to celebrate the right to love and live your best life. The crux of this month-long commemoration is a Pride march honoring the Stonewall Riots of 1969 where the gay freedom movement started, subsequently evolving into our present-day fight for equal rights. It just so happens that here in Seattle, where Tableau is headquartered, the annual Pride Parade is the third most popular in the United States. Activities for 2018 are estimated to draw over 450,000 people from a myriad of diverse backgrounds.
For the third consecutive year, Tableau is sponsoring the Seattle Pride Organization’s efforts to “create unity, honor diversity, and achieve equal human rights throughout our region and the world.” On June 9th, our Marketing and Recruiting Teams will be onsite at the original parade location for Pridefest to show support and continue our efforts to attract and retain diverse talent. Hiring employees with different backgrounds and viewpoints allows us to be better innovators, which organically lends itself to better business decisions.
Kevin Schroer, Sr. Director of Creative, is a perfect example of why this matters. His Design team gives Tableau its beautiful look and feel whether you’re online or onsite at an event. For him, “Working in a safe and inclusive environment like Tableau has allowed me to flourish professionally at an important point in my career—and personally as well. Knowing I can be true to myself allows me to be the best, strongest, most creative person I can be.” Ultimately, we are striving to be the best partner to our customers and community at large.
To cap-end our month, 150 of our most proud and energetic Tableau employees will march through the streets of Downtown Seattle to show off their #DataPride. This will be the first time I march after years of quietly supporting and cultivating my own Pride journey. To say that it’s an honor to be given the opportunity to lead our company’s expansion of Pride awareness in offices worldwide is an understatement. This is going to be a highlight of my career. Tableau has somehow managed to take an introverted Event Specialist and empowered me to share my best self.
Luckily, the baton is relayed by Lance Tanaka, our Recruiting Operations Specialist who spearheaded Tableau’s inaugural sponsorship in 2016. He is an innovator; someone who strengthens Tableau with his passionate activism. My excitement is a feeling he knows well as he recalls, “When we announced to the company that Tableau would be marching in Seattle’s Pride Parade for the very first time, the love and support was overwhelming! To watch it grow into the amazing team it is today has been a privilege.” That’s the power of one individual with an idea and a company that makes that idea a priority.
This past year, a grass-roots project dedicated to cultivating programs and practices that enable Tableau to build a rich, team-focused task force gained groundswell. As a result, a new Diversity & Inclusion workgroup was created to help shape and sustain a workplace in which everyone knows they belong, feels respected, and able to do their best work.
Amy Forstrom, a Manager in our Visual Analytics arm of the Development group shared her experience where all three of these tenets came into play: “A couple years ago, we wanted to add trans-inclusive KPI icons to the product. Based on experiences I had at previous companies, I braced myself for a long education process, rich with debate and concern about customer perceptions. To my surprise, the decision-making meeting lasted 15 minutes. One leader said, ‘This seems like the right thing to do,’ and another replied, ‘We should do the right thing.’ The decision was a non-event. We spent the rest of the time polishing the icons, and I instantly knew I was home.”
Tableau is a place where I feel heard, emboldened and important. One of the very first times I knew my differences were valued was on June 26th, 2015—the day the United States Supreme Court legalized marriage in all 50 states. I remember it clearly not only because it afforded my future recognition and protection, but because Tableau celebrated in-kind with a champagne toast that same afternoon. Our dynamic response to a monumental shift in the fight for equality was all at once inspiring and tear-inducing. Not unlike Amy, I knew that I was home but more importantly, that was the exact moment I found my #DataFam.
As a group, we have the collective responsibility to build a diverse and inclusive environment beyond Tableau, reaching the communities we impact and the customers for whom we build products. This is where you come in.
We are looking for participants to share in the excitement of June Pride Month and invite our Tableau community to show off their #DataPride. Take any dataset pertaining to the history of Pride and show us your best vizzes! We’re asking you to #VisualizeDiversity and make it the hottest hashtag to take over social media feeds this Pride month. Share your uniqueness and show us your data-driven stories using Tableau. Just get vizzy with it!