All Stories Blog Series: Embracing Inclusion at Work

AllCloud Blog:
Cloud Insights and Innovation

A blog series where every AllClouder’s story matters.

Stories are a powerful way to connect with people. We wanted to give our employees a platform to share their unique stories of how AllCloud has impacted their lives, celebrate what they care about most, and inspire people worldwide. Whether you are a customer, partner, or a potential candidate, this series is meant to bring you closer to the AllClouders and understand what makes them choose this company every single day! 

At AllCloud, we are dedicated to creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone.

In the second interview article of the AllStories blog series, we have a conversation with Gabriel Romero, the Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Alliances at AllCloud, about how companies can support their employees during Pride Month, why this is relevant, and how to promote a diverse and inclusive work environment.


What does Pride Month mean to you personally? 

Pride month is an opportunity for visibility. Many individuals spend a considerable amount of time hiding their true selves, and Pride month provides a platform for them to be visible. For someone externally looking in, it may seem like coming out is not as big a deal as it used to be, but there is still a lot of fear and risk. For example, as a Marketing Leader, I recently read an article from AdAge which featured that marketing leaders from companies of all sizes who are running  “purpose campaigns” – including weighing in on social causes or diversity and inclusion issues, are coming under social-media attacks, even experiencing threats of violence and death threats, over their campaigns. While these threats may seem fake because they are online, to the people on the receiving end, these are real. If marketers are receiving these types of threats, imagine how it is to be part of the community. To me, this is even more reason why visibility is so important. 


How can businesses better support and include LGBTQ+ individuals? 

Businesses can play a special role in helping all of their employees be who they are both at and outside of work. People spend so much of their time and energy at work and on their career, that added stress of not being yourself or feeling different can compound an already stressful situation. My advice to any business would be to listen to their employees and their individual challenges. The LGBTQ+ community may face obstacles that others are not aware of, such as the fear of being open about their identity at work, which can lead to feelings of isolation. By simply listening to their employees (this applies to all employees, not just those in the LGBTQ+ community), and by offering a safe place for people to be their authentic self, businesses demonstrate that they care about their concerns. This community, especially in the U.S., has been particularly politicized. In the U.S. there are over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced this year alone. Families are having real conversations about leaving their states to protect themselves and their children. Not all LGBTQ+ employees expect their companies to have Pride floats or speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, but acknowledging and understanding their fears and concerns can make a significant impact. 

The politicization of the community is not limited to the U.S., nor is the impact businesses have. One example is that many businesses still fail to support expats that have same-sex partners, which are sometimes not eligible for the same benefits if they move to another country for work. This can severely limit the ability for growth within a company. Organizations of all sizes can also consider supporting their employees through ERG or affinity groups, which allow employees to work together and drive change for their communities. 


In your opinion, what progress still needs to be made for the LGBTQ+ community? 

This is a bit of a loaded question. The progress made by the LGBTQ+ community in many Western countries over the last decade is remarkable, and business helped drive a lot of this progress, including marriage equality in countries like the U.S. and Switzerland. But there is still a lot of work that needs to be accomplished. Unfortunately, many people are actually worried that not only will the progress be stopped, but actually reversed. They worry that the community may lose some of the basic rights they fought hard to obtain. This is especially true in more rural areas where there are simply not enough support systems in place. 


What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with their identity?

Know that you’re not alone. The LGBTQ+ community became a community because we were ostracized for so long and we came together to support each other. 

Despite all the rhetoric, there are a lot of people who will not judge or discriminate against you and will accept you for who you are. Take your time figuring out who you are and don’t be discouraged by feeling like you don’t fit in. One of my favorite bands, Brothers Osborne has a song called “Younger Me” with a line that states:

 “Younger me, hanging out but not quite fitting in. Didn’t know that being different wouldn’t really be the end.”  

This particular line rings true to me. Negative news and personal attacks against the community can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of people, including in the workplace, who will accept you for who you are. Being “different” is not the end and in fact can be amazing. 


In what ways does AllCloud support LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace, and how valuable do you believe such support to be?

Having a supportive workplace is extremely important for all employees. While I don’t mention my sexual orientation in most work conversations, I stopped skirting questions like “What is your wife’s name?” and answer that I have a husband. However, it has taken me a while to feel comfortable enough to do so at work, and I am grateful to be part of a company that accepts and supports me. Finding such a supportive company can take time, but it’s far from impossible. 

AllCloud has been a positive experience, allowing me to open up about my personal life when I was ready. They do a great job supporting all their employees and making them feel like they are part of a bigger team. To me, this makes all the difference.

Gabe Romero


Read more posts by Gabe Romero