Top 50 Companies Show Their Support By Sponsoring Pride March

Several DiversityInc Top 50 companies showed their commitment to the LGBT community by sponsoring the Pride Parade on Sunday.

Two rainbow flags sat on the back of a motorcycle during New York City's annual Pride March celebration. / Alana Winns/DiversityInc

Thousands of colorful flags and festive costumes lined the streets of Manhattan on Sunday for the city's annual Pride March. And with a day assigned to waving rainbows proudly, many DiversityInc Top 50 companies participated in this year's celebration with floats, cool dance moves, and company spirit in support of the lively community.

Along with participating in the parade, many of our Top 50 Companies sponsored the event, including Ernst & Young, which ranked number one on our 2017 list.

We caught up with Joan McKinnon, corporate vice president of New York Life (No. 23), who is part of their learning and development team, on the company's LGBT resource group called NYLPRIDE and how it ties into their strategic objectives.

"Our mission is to build the bridges of understanding and help people understand the LGBT community," she said. "And bring our products and services out to the community."

McKinnon, who proudly boasted a purple New York Life tee paired with a rainbow scarf, told us that NYLPRIDE has been in action for 10 years and has a direct hand in assisting the company's target market.

"We are a company of community with the LGBT community," she told us.

Hilton (No. 30) celebrated with music and food at Public House prior to the kick-off of the parade. Wearing a crisp-white tee stamped with Hilton's logo, Andrea Richardson gave us her take on why her company decided to show their support by sponsoring the event this year.

"Diversity and inclusion are very, very important for us," she said.

Richardson, who is the Director of Multicultural and Diversity Marketing for the 98-year-old establishment, also spoke on the importance of acceptance and embracing your true self in the workplace.

She described Hilton's culture as "very welcoming and inclusive culture where people feel like people can bring their true and authentic selves to work and ultimately to the world every single day."

TD Bank (No. 38) has participated in Pride events in the U.S. since 2009 and this year was no exception for the company that had a huge turnout of marchers. Lined up behind their green and white float that was blasting hip music was a sea of green gear and happy white smiles.

Getting the crowd excited was a woman at the head of the float, sporting platinum hair, bright glitter and a memorable feather umbrella.

"Pride is every day at TD Bank," said Timothy Taylor, vice president and regional retail operations director of Southern New England.

Taylor, who is also the chair of the company's LGBTA Subcommittee, spoke about the importance of TD's leadership across the markets from day-to-day, focusing in on "how we can create a more inclusive and comfortable work environment for our LGBTA employees and our allies."

The executive made it clear that TD's commitment to the community is an unwavering one, noting, "There's 365 days a year, so we are 'hashtag' forever proud and that's an important aspect of not only our brand, but in celebrating LGBT people."

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