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Celebrating Pride 2022: Authenticity for all

June is Pride Month, where we celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of the LGBTQIA+ community around the world. Here at Qualtrics, we work to create a culture of inclusivity where individuals can be their authentic selves. This drives our theme for the year – Authenticity for All. For members of the LGBTQIA+ community, living life authentically is challenging and is never the same for any individual. 

Like most individuals, I have struggled to find the secret sauce to living authentically in a way where I put my needs and happiness first rather than the desire to fit into a specific community. I’ve frequently oscillated between thinking “am I gay enough?” and “is this too gay, will it make folks uncomfortable?” Both lines of thought are destructive – I should embrace the social and fashion norms that make me feel like me. When I first started at Qualtrics it was like coming out of the closet all over again, especially as it was my first job after college. Would my coworkers be okay with me being gay? Would telling people impact my career trajectory at the company? Would this impact my coworker relationships? 

Ultimately, the more I told people about my full self the less guarded I was. I wasn’t spending time and energy monitoring my responses to colleagues to maintain a heteronormative facade. This allowed me to devote that energy to my work and strengthening my workplace relationships.

As Global Lead of the Qualtrics Pride group, it’s important to me that we expedite this journey for other LGBTQIA+ employees and continue striving to make Qualtrics a more inclusive and welcoming place for all. Qualtrics Pride aims to be the collective voice for the LGBTQIA+ community at Qualtrics and provides LGBTQIA+ employees a community within Qualtrics where they can build relationships and feel safe voicing their concerns, fears, and worries. 

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable being themselves in their place of work. Qualtrics Pride’s goal is to make the office a welcoming place for everyone to be their authentic self. Last year, we worked alongside our benefits team to apply to the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index – a tool that rates workplaces on equality and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ employees – where we achieved a 95/100 score on our first application. We have since leveraged the application process to highlight gaps where we can work to make Qualtrics a more equal and inclusive place so everyone can be free to be their authentic selves. 

My ask to you this month – work on identifying ways to embrace your authentic self and give grace to those learning to embrace their own authenticity. 

Sam Schmitz // Senior Partner Delivery Manager & Global Qualtrics Pride Chair

Sam is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He started his career with Qualtrics in July of 2017 as a Product Specialist and is now a Senior Partner Deliver Manager in addition to his role as Global Qualtrics Pride Chair.

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