As efforts to create diverse and inclusive workplaces increase, so does the focus on developing environments where employees feel as though they can bring their whole selves to work. There is no easy path to this, but a focused effort from all stakeholders in an organization to be responsible and informed in all company practices is the first step.
Knowing this, one of the many ways Nuance has emphasized the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is through participation in Nuance Networks, our internal Employees Resource Groups. These Networks, designed to truly reflect the community and connectivity aspect of the groups, include Nuance Pride (our LGBTQ+ group) and Women in Nuance. Our employees also recently announced a new group called MADE, or the Multicultural Association for Diversity Empowerment, which was created to embrace all cultures, traditions, and walks of life.
Nuance Pride focuses on visibility, support, and involvement within the company and, in turn, engagement with the wider LGBTQ+ community outside of work. The Network hosts National Coming Out Day celebrations and events for SpeakOUT Boston, and encourages groups to walk in Pride marches throughout the nation, including the Boston Pride Parade. In fact, this group was a huge part of Nuance’s 100% Equality Index score, which lead to being named a 2019 Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.
Leo Bancroft, one of the founders of Nuance Pride said he is “so grateful and deeply moved by the support from Nuance at the corporate level down to the individual and could not be more proud of all of the work we have done.” Other employees like Pepper Fee, another one of the group’s long-time members, have echoed this, saying that “being a part of the Pride group gives me a chance to pay back my thanks for that, and also pay it forward for the benefit of other new employees, who are looking for a safe work environment.”
The Women in Nuance (WIN) group represents women in tech and advocates for women’s interests and initiatives, both in and out of the workplace. The group also inspires, supports and empowers women by providing both internal and external networking and educational opportunities. WIN serves as a voice for the women (and men) at Nuance to learn from each other and make a difference.
Aleksa Marino, who has been with WIN for a year, believes that the group can break down the “silo mentality” that workplace groups sometimes take on. Like others in this Network, she says that WIN gives her the opportunity to actively participate in culture changes at Nuance and helps her feel like her voice is truly getting heard. She went on to say that WIN, and Nuance Networks like it, are “the beginning of the movement to the real ‘employee empowerment’ with the important consequence of employee participation in a decision-making process and creation of the future leaders.”
Lastly, as the name suggests, our newest Nuance Network, MADE, was made for a mission—a mission to build on individuals’ exclusive talents and diverse backgrounds, to achieve autonomy, and to help members grow both on a personal and professional level. Mariann Leedee-Gonzalez, the group’s creator, said that starting MADE “meant opening opportunities to create a resource group that finds ways to celebrate and embrace diversity within the company.” These efforts aren’t necessarily limited to inside the workplace, either. She envisions MADE as a gateway into giving back to the community and linking corporate responsibility with our communities through participating in volunteering efforts offered through MADE or finding other ways to get involved outside of the office. MADE also now acts as an umbrella network for other country/culture-specific affinity groups that Nuance employees have started.
Andiana Aponte, another member of the new MADE group, supports the Network’s mission, saying that she has seen the changes Nuance is making and the diversity that has grown here, and is inspired by it. She went on to say that she is “hoping that as employees of Nuance, we can connect, we can be inspired by one another and, most importantly, we can all feel more comfortable being ourselves.”
John Ferreira, from our Pride group, perfectly captures the experience Nuance strives for, saying that he feels “extremely happy that we work for a company that encourages groups like ours and supports what we are doing. We all have very stressful jobs and being able to be ourselves while doing it makes a huge difference.” The chance for employees to form relationships that are not solely based on just work, but on a larger part of their personality, helps them “feel like they are part of a bigger thing than a company, but an actual community”, says Tom Landry, who is also a part of Nuance Pride group.
Nuance works tirelessly to develop and evolve in every way we can, and that isn’t just limited to our technological innovations. By investing in our employees to ensure they can bring their authentic selves, unique experiences and own perspectives to work – both personally and professionally – Nuance doesn’t just talk the talk. We walk the walk, too.