It has been recently reported that nearly half (45.5%) of the LGBTQ+ workforce in the United States have experienced discrimination or unfair treatment at some point in their careers (more than both Canada and Europe), and that around one-third (34.2%) of LGBTQ+ workers leave their job due to the unwelcoming environment. Aries Systems strives to not only facilitate acceptance, but be a true advocate for the LGBTQ+ community at home and at large. In honor of Pride Month 2022, which is held annually in June in the United States to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, Aries has launched a new internal employee resources group (ERG), “ARIES PRIDE”!
The mission of the PRIDE ERG is to foster LGBTQ+ spaces within Aries where colleagues feel safe enough* to bring their authentic selves, experiences, and thoughts as we continue to develop deep acceptance of, and pride in, ourselves and our community. The PRIDE group will offer monthly social events and opportunities to share personal stories, explore identity, review relevant media (books, films, podcasts, etc.), and openly discuss key issues of cultural, social, historical and political importance to LGBTQ+ communities in a safe environment. Both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ employees are encouraged to participate and engage in peer-hosted in fun activities focused on education, personal development, and community-based support and awareness as they feel comfortable.
In addition, Aries closely partners with our parent company Elsevier, who offers a wealth of resources on internal and external LGBTQ+ support, on our recruitment processes to ensure a fair and inclusive experience.
UNDERSTANDING “SAFE ENOUGH”
The entire Aries team is actively taking steps to better understand psychological safety in the workplace. As part of ARIES PRIDE, the group is working to define the concept of “safe enough” and how it applies within the ERG. Creating a *safe enough environment allows participants to take reasonable risks – such as expressing their authentic selves and LGBTQ+ views vulnerably – or make “mistakes” without fear of repercussion or judgement. A clear understanding of the difference between discomfort and danger is critical to this concept, as some level of distress is expected. Growing safely in any respect often includes discomfort, (that’s why they are called ‘growing pains’!), but should not be at the expense of others’ growth, exceed a participant’s capacity to cope with it, or escalate from hurt to harm. This will require the establishment of clear norms and boundaries about what is and is not welcome within our spaces as well as adapting to the evolving needs of our participants from event to event.
OUR DEI COMMITMENT: TOGETHER AT ARIES
At Aries, we recognize that our success starts with our team. We strive to foster a flexible, inclusive, and welcoming work environment where diverse ideas are both encouraged and celebrated. In addition to our pillars of culture, we champion integrity, authenticity, and respect across all facets of our operations – inspiring collaboration and innovation in which all voices are valued. Creating equal opportunities for growth and empowering individuals to be their true selves not only makes us stronger, but allows us to represent a landscape as diverse as the research community we serve.