Strong company culture is a fundamental part of DMC's DNA. Not only do we strive to provide a fun and enjoyable work environment, but we also take steps to build a community that fosters inclusivity, celebrates diversity, and conveys respect for all. Led by the Queer Employee Resource Group (ERG), those of us across all offices at DMC celebrated Pride Month in ways both fun and educational.
Monthly Company Meeting Presentation
In honor of Pride month, the Queer ERG presented about the History of Pride during our June Monthly Company Meeting. Becca Stussman, who leads the Queer ERG at DMC, educated the company on the history of LGBTQ+ discrimination, progress, and celebration in the US. See Becca’s presentation below for more info.
In honor of Pride Month last year, Sam Levin, Senior UX/UI Designer, created some virtual backgrounds that DMC’s DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) team encouraged DMCers to use during virtual meetings. Below is one example!
DMC’s History of Celebrating Pride
Another way DMC celebrated Pride Month last year was through the creation of informative posters.
“A year ago, we made laminated posters about queer people throughout history, and we mailed them to the offices,” Becca said. “In New York, we never took them down, so they’ve been hung up all year; it's cool! There are about 10 of them throughout the office, and they look great!”
Queer ERG Tie-dyeing Event
Across our offices nationwide, DMCers gathered last month for a tie-dyeing event lead by the Queer Employee Resource Group (ERG) to socialize and commemorate Pride Month.
“The Queer ERG here at DMC, alongside some other very helpful folks, put on an event for Pride Month. There are a lot of terrible things happening in and to the LGBTQ+ community right now, so finding ways to have celebration and have those chances for visibility without making it sad or upsetting,” Bridget Miles, Human Resources Manager, said. “Plus, the event is just something people would enjoy and want to be a part of.”
The idea for a tie-dyeing event came from one of the queer ERG discussion meetings. The Queer ERG meets once a month during Fridays at lunch.
“This event came out of the Queer ERG when we were brainstorming something that we could do for Pride Month,” Becca said. “I think it was nice that we were given the space to plan our own event as a Queer ERG. It was lighthearted, fun, and kind of cute, which felt like a nice lowkey way to celebrate pride and help provide the feeling of support in the DMC offices.”
While there are many different versions of the definition for queer, the Queer ERG has their own as iteration well.
“We mean queer in the most expansive sense of the term, so anyone who identifies as part of the LGBT+ or queer spectrum is welcome to join,” Becca said.
DMC Chicago had a happy hour on the roof where DMCers enjoyed tie-dyeing hats, eating empanadas and cupcakes, drinking Pride themed Sangria, and enjoying each other’s company.
“It was a really nice night to celebrate queerness, especially queerness specifically at DMC, and feel visible in that space, but also feel really supported by a lot of non queer folks and coworkers who also wanted to be a part of this,” Bridget said.
As part of the planning process and setup crew, Bridget says she enjoyed the excitement before the event.
“Natalie bought the little pride flag decorations, and she was putting the sangria together. We were all making sure the tables were set up and getting all the hats and supplies together,” Bridget said. “I really appreciated that a lot of people from a lot of different parts of DMC said ‘yeah, I'll help with this,’. It really felt like more than just the folks who are specifically in the Queer ERG wanted this to happen.”
The event also allowed for comfortable conversations about queerness, according to Bridget.
“There were a couple of conversations last night that I really appreciated and helped normalize queerness,” Bridget said. “I thought it was a really positive thing from last night; I felt like the event naturally allowed for conversations that centered some of those people or even just brought up stories in media in conversations that didn't have to feel forced or weird. I think it's a hard line to walk of the reality that not everyone wants to be publicly queer, but I think I have seen, overall, from my interactions, a general improvement in people's views and comfortability with LGBTQ+ folks’ issues and problems.”
"It feels nice to be seen, and the fact that DMC is making space for queer people to celebrate is cool," according to Courtney Stegenga, Project Coordinator.
“It's really nice to be in a space that exists solely to celebrate Pride. It just makes stepping into that space a little bit more special,” Courtney said. “For me, I think it's as simple as visibility. I think that exposure to the normalcy of queer people and your queer coworkers is something that this country especially needs right now. It’s such a simple thing to spend time in a place that is attributing importance to queer identity.”
The Boston office also tie-dyed bucket hats and had some sweet results!
The Denver office celebrated with SliceWorks pizza, enjoyed some local Denver brews, and tie-dyed bucket hats and some leftover t-shirts from last year’s tie-dyeing event.
Everyone had a great time – even their pets joined in on the fun post tie-dyeing!
Pepper – Kara Burton’s dog
Nola – Jamie Handelman’s dog
Marbles – Gabby Martinez’s cat
The Denver office duck
The Houston office enjoyed tie-dyeing along with great drinks from DMC mixologist Elizabeth Hill Reed! She created a watermelon, mint simple syrup, and lime drink as well as a mango, pineapple, basil simple syrup, and lime drink.
The office enjoyed a Spotify Pride Party playlist too!
Houston also pulled out some Texas themed Pride decorations as well as the sheets from last year displaying cool facts about LGBT+ historical figures.
The New York office celebrated with pizza, themed decoration, and tie-dyeing as well.
“It was nice because a lot of people were in the office, so it was fun to kind of all hang out. We just laid out like the tablecloth on the table, and we tie-dyed bucket hats,” Becca said. “Jon found some of these white DMC baseball hats, so we dyed those as well. Then, we ordered pizza, and we complimented each other's stuff. We also had rainbow flags and rainbow plates that we used, so that was cute.”
Later in the evening, New York, Houston, and San Diego all hopped on a Zoom together to chat with each other.
DMC San Diego with a big old pizza party, according to Nick Leisle, Project Engineer.
“We pulled up a bunch of bucket hat tie-dyeing YouTube videos while we ate while some pizza. Afterwards, we put a bunch of trash bags on our kitchen table and tried carefully not to get dye anywhere,” Nick said. "In terms of fun, we had lots of fun - we also played ping pong."
This was the first time our two newest hires in the San Diego office both attended an activity fund event together with the rest of the group, so that was a lot of fun with everyone there, according to Nick.
“This was a good introduction to DMC culture in terms of just fun things that we do,” Nick said. “At the very beginning of ours, which was the tail end of the East Coast, the Houston and New York teams called in via Microsoft Teams meeting, and we all kind of chatted for a bit, which was fun. I think that was also a good introduction for our newer hires here to see some of the people in the other offices.”
The crew even wore their finished bucket hats at the San Diego County Fair.
DMC Seattle ordered cupcakes from a local LGBTQIA+ bakery that had fun flavors and gave a donation to a local charity!
DMC St. Louis got Garvanzo Mediterranean food for dinner before tie-dyeing. They also decorated the table with bright tablecloths, a mason jar full of rainbow beads, and a Pride flag.
Learn more about DMC’s company culture and check out our open positions!