TIAA recognized Pride Month with a variety of events for associates to celebrate and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. TIAA’s CEO Roger Ferguson began the month’s celebrations by unveiling the company’s first-ever rainbow crosswalk on the Charlotte campus. The crosswalk represents both the diversity of TIAA associates and the Company’s commitment to inclusion – the crosswalk is a visual symbol of TIAA’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.
During the ribbon cutting for the crosswalk, Heather Taylor, Senior Manager of Advisor Services at TIAA, shared her story of joining TIAA, marrying her wife Lesley, adopting children using TIAA’s IVF and adoption benefits programs. She also provided remarks about how open and welcoming TIAA has been to her through the years. “If you had told me 15 years ago that I would not shy away from being my authentic self at work, and that my employer would cover 16 weeks of parental leave for me and my wife, I would have said you’re crazy,” said Taylor. “Now I say wow – it is amazing to work here at TIAA, and I am proud to be an associate.”
Taylor is a member of Alliance, TIAA’s employee resource group (ERG) for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) associates and their allies. The Alliance ERG hosted many events throughout June in honor of Pride Month, a celebration of the history and contributions from the LGBTQ+ communities.
On June 18, TIAA welcomed Candace Gingrich, LGBTQ+ rights activist and the former Associate Director of Youth and Campus Engagement at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), to speak to associates from across the country live from TIAA’s Chicago office about the history of the Stonewall riots and how LGBTQ+ rights have evolved throughout the history of our country. Gingrich discussed the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and its importance, along with the rise of the HRC and the introduction of the Equality Act. Gingrich shared history from the 1920s to today about the influential people, actions, laws, and movements that changed and shaped the LGBTQ community and America.
The Alliance ERG also hosted an OUT networking event in Chicago, and ran a spotlight series on influential and intersectional LGBTQ+ individuals on TIAA’s internal social channel. TIAA associates will continue to celebrate by participating in the Charlotte Pride Parade in August.
June was chosen for Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots in New York City, which occurred in June 1969. The Stonewall Uprising was a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. As a result, Pride Month is designed to recognize the impact and influence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals worldwide.