Celebrating Pride 2022: Our People, Our Values, Our Celebration

Blog Headers Pride

As Penny grows, we’re committed to staying true to our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging pledge to truly make Penny a place where everyone feels comfortable being themselves wherever they are on their journey.

Pride Month is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate, but it’s also an opportunity for reflection on what’s been achieved so far and what still needs to be done.

As a remote-first organisation, we wanted to hear from Penny’s own members of the queer community about their experience, life at Penny, and how they plan to celebrate pride this year.

Meet Lindsay

Customer Support Representative, Vancouver 💜
Lindsay Pride 2022

“What Penny did was show me through action that this was a safe place to be myself and express myself as openly as I would in my life outside of work.” – Lindsay

Lindsay Pride 2022

What's your experience as part of the LGBTQ+ community at Penny?

Working in the software/technology industry, as a non-binary, AFAB person, you tend to avoid conversations about your gender, sexuality, or even just about yourself.

When I arrived at Penny just over 6 months ago, Penny staff didn’t exclaim in rainbow font how inclusive and safe it was and prompt me to express myself. What Penny did was show me through action that this was a safe place to be myself and express myself as openly as I would in my life outside of work. It was so important for me to not work for a performative company that milked unique and diverse brownie points by hiring women and queer people; or a company that took advantage of neuro divergent/marginalized groups of people within their staff. These traits were red flags that had me on a lifetime hunt for the “right place” to spend 40 hours of my week with.

—Lindsay

How did Penny make you feel like you belonged?

The best thing Penny did to set my heart and mind at ease within those important first weeks was to show me and not just tell me how they planned to support me as a unique person that was part of their long term business goals.

I watched as women on our development team lead the way with progressive planning and operations, there was no friction seen or felt when someone had a difference of opinion, or wanted to explore issues more deeply with each other. I had been fooled before by empty promises and lofty untouched “goals and strategies”. Penny put the cards on the table through actions like allowing our DIB Committee to carve out time to discuss gender in a modern age and what it meant for our users, our software, and our daily language. Watching decisions made with these ideas in mind was a new experience for me and one I felt like I had been hunting for in an employer for many years!

—Lindsay

How do you plan to celebrate Pride this year?

Now that the Covid has become a more manageable risk in my world, I plan to celebrate Pride with friends and party in the sun but more important are the acts of mutual aid for marginalized groups I am empowered to engage with in my community.

Pride started as a riot and it continues to be an event meant to display in clear and precise language that our community is here to carry each other forward into the future and to thrive despite efforts to hold that back. I wish I lived in a world where my ability to help protect and support marginalized groups in my community wasn’t in such high demand but thanks to the stability, and mental peace I have working at Penny, it leaves me with more energy to care for myself effectively which facilitates me to engage and help my community outside in turn. It’s a privilege to work for a company that I feel safe in; one that encourages me to live out loud. As a result, I deposit that privilege right back into my community every chance I get.

—Lindsay

Meet Chris Kennedy

Supervisor Customer Support, Vancouver 💜
Chris K Pride 2022

“Here at Penny, my homosexuality is … normal, and I’m welcomed for my creativity, large personality, humour and contributions.” – Chris

Chris K Pride 2022

What's your experience as part of the LGBTQ+ community at Penny?

I’ve been out since grade 8. So I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to be my true, authentic self for most of my life. I’ve always been open about my sexuality and very honest and transparent when anyone’s asked me questions – I’m of the mindset that if you have the courage to respectfully ask me a question, I’m going to have the respect to courageously answer you honestly.

I’ve experienced my fair share of homophobia and bullying – and not just in my adolescent years, either! But from day one of joining Penny, no one cared about my sexuality – and I mean that in a very positive, accepting, refreshing way! – but rather, I was looked at and referred to as a person. Someone with human emotions, feelings, ideas and suggestions. Here at Penny, my homosexuality is … normal, and I’m welcomed for my creativity, large personality, humour and contributions.  Not ignored because of who I love and am married to.

—Chris

How do you plan to celebrate Pride this year?

Pride this year is very different for me, not just because we’re returning to how things were before 2020, but also because of my participation as a new Board Member for the Vancouver Pride Society, as well as Fierte Canada Pride. I’m still looking at Pride through the fun party-colored glasses, like I always have; but this year, I’m also looking at it from the activist and organizational perspective, being part of both of these queer organizations. I’ve learned so much from being part of both these groups, and I’m excited to continue learning even more about queer history and culture which I hope to continue sharing with my Penny peeps.

—Chris

💜 Special thanks to Lindsay and Chris for sharing their stories. (We support everyone no matter where they are on their journey or their current circumstance whether due to personal preference or extenuating situations beyond their control.)

For more information about how Penny strives to make everyone feel like they belong check out Women in Tech, IWD 2022 Celebration or Careers

We’re also hosting a Lean-In to celebrate, educate and reflect on the current events, check out Penny AI on LinkedIn for a behind the scenes look. 



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