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In recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride month, we’re honoring and celebrating the LGBTQ+ global community by hosting special events with inspiring speakers and partner organizations.
This year, we’re reflecting on the importance of creating safe space at work and building allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. We had the chance to catch up with our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group leaders, Karna Nisewaner, Executive Sponsor and Corporate VP, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, and Rene Spring, Global LGBTQ+ Group Lead and Program Management Director. We chatted more about their thoughts on the inclusion group’s role in supporting our LGBTQ+ employees, how global visibility can impact engagement, and ways we can all be champions of Cadence’s commitment to diversity in 2023.
What does global inclusion mean for the LGBTQ+ community at Cadence?
Rene: I was asked, a couple of years ago, to lead the LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group. We started in North America, and this year, began to expand participation globally. As an example, we have multiple locations, especially in Europe, that will be celebrating Pride. And I’ve heard from teams in Brazil, Israel, and India. The inclusion group is bringing these people together for the first time, and it’s important to us to work for a company that stands behind our community. What it means? We are One Cadence—One Team, we are global, and there are LGBTQ+ employees everywhere. It’s important that everyone knows that you are welcome here at Cadence, no matter where you work. I believe that more diverse and inclusive teams are stronger, and that’s part of why I’m on this journey.
Karna: When I think about more global inclusion groups, what I see is a real broadening of this concept of acceptance and authenticity. For us, it’s saying, no matter where you are or who you are, we accept you and are thrilled that you are a part of this Cadence culture that celebrates you being you. That, to me, is a very powerful message that we want to make sure people feel.
"One of the biggest opportunities I've seen is the ability to feel comfortable at work while being your authentic self."
- Rene Spring
What are some LGBTQ+ group initiatives you’re working on this year?
Karna: Rene has done such a great job of building this initial community. I want to keep connecting with this community and to have them be seen and heard throughout Cadence. It’s making it clear to people across the organization that we are a culture that believes in this—and believes in you the individual, however you identify.
Rene: Expanding the group globally has been a great goal of ours for this year, and we’re gaining momentum. It’s also important that we have visibility and support at the EMT level; we’re working together to showcase the strengths of our group and to come up with meaningful asks. As an example, this year we signed onto the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for the Equality Act and also introduced guidelines to help employees who are going through gender transition to feel comfortable coming into work.
This program has to live on for a long time, so I think it’s important that we continue to ask ourselves, ‘How do we do this right?’
What are you looking forward to most this Pride Month?
Rene: I, along with members of our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group, planned the largest Pride Month celebration we’ve ever had at our San Jose headquarters. It was such a wonderful event to have open to the whole site. We featured guest speaker Elizabeth Birch, Vice President at Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE) and former President and CEO of the Human Rights Campaign, nine local vendors and community partners, as well as an amazing Mexican folklore dance performance from the LGBTQ+ group Ensamble Folclórico Colibrí. We want to celebrate the variety of people in our community, our authentic selves, and our accomplishments. To have the whole month of June to remind everyone of how far we have come and how things have changed for the better is a reason to celebrate.
Karna: We want our employees to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s contributions and for our LGBTQ+ identifying employees to feel seen and valued. Our LGBTQ+ employees are making a significant impact at Cadence, in our industry, and in the world of technology. They’re helping us achieve incredible business results and developing new innovations. Many had to overcome significant challenges in their lives to get here. Celebrating them this month is one way we can show our appreciation.
"No matter where you are or who you are...we are thrilled that you are part of this Cadence culture that celebrates you being you.”
- Karna Nisewaner
What are the important ways that people can signal inclusion or celebrate Pride at work? What are the most meaningful or impactful actions employees everywhere can take to support LGBTQ+ coworkers in addition to participating with their company’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?
Rene: One of the biggest opportunities I've seen is the ability to feel comfortable at work while being your authentic self. Allies should encourage coworkers to ask questions to open up the dialogue. Sharing allows employees to feel more comfortable and safe. By showing genuine interest in each other as individuals, we have the ability to break down walls and foster a culture that is built on relationship building where employees will naturally feel safe, heard, and supported.
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