Pride Month with Elizabeth Meier: “Seeing people embrace their authentic selves is beautiful.”

28 June 2023

This week, we sat down with Elizabeth Meier, to talk about her experience as an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Can you give us some background about yourself, what you do, and how long you’ve worked for Portico?

“I have been working at Portico for just over a year. Besides my professional role, I am a mother to four children, three of whom are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. This personal experience has given me a deep understanding and connection with the community, making me passionate about fostering inclusivity and support.”

As an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, what has your experience been like at Portico?

“My experience at Portico has been wonderful. I was amazed by how supportive and inclusive the company is. It warms my heart to see that they offer training and workshops specifically tailored to LGBTQIA+ information, communities, and history.
Portico is very proactive in its representation of diverse voices within the company.”

What does Pride Month mean to you?

“Pride Month holds great significance for me. It is a time of year when I get to celebrate alongside my children, and we cherish the opportunity to come together and recognise and celebrate LGBTQIA+ members. It’s a time of being true to oneself and witnessing LGBTQIA+ individuals thrive in our community. Seeing people embrace their authentic selves is a beautiful thing.”

Can you share some ways in which curious individuals can approach conversations about LGBTQIA+ topics that are welcome?

“1. Ask for permission: Respect people’s boundaries and understand that not everyone may be comfortable discussing certain topics. If someone declines to engage, don’t be offended; be understanding and move on to other subjects.

2. Approach with an open mind: When engaging in LGBTQIA+ conversations, it’s so important to be receptive to the answers and perspectives you hear. Listen actively and accept the knowledge shared with you, even if it challenges your preconceived notions.

3. Learn and investigate: After a conversation, take the initiative to learn more. Educate yourself about the issues and topics discussed. There are online communities where you can ask questions openly without feeling embarrassed. This allows for a deeper understanding and promotes growth.”

In your view, what does it mean to be a good ally?

“Being a good ally means consistently supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

It involves advocating for transgender rights, being brave enough to stand up for others, and kindly correcting people when necessary. Respecting and using correct pronouns without hesitation or qualification is crucial. It’s about practising inclusive language all the time and becoming comfortable with it.”

What can companies do to make the workplace more inclusive?

“Companies can take several steps to foster inclusivity in the workplace, such as gender-neutral spaces; the establishment of gender-neutral facilities is important to create an inclusive environment within the workplace. Also, celebrate pride! Post it everywhere and shout about it; this is the best way to embrace change and support progress.”