Our construction community is welcoming and supportive – it’s a place where employees can bring their authentic selves and feel celebrated for who they truly are.

Pride Month is observed each June to increase visibility for the LGBTQ+ community and encourage greater equality for all individuals.

PCL employees share why they celebrate Pride and offer insight on how companies can create inclusive environments. 

During Pride, I feel grateful for the resilience of people before me and those doing the work today to gain acceptance and fight for LGBTQ+ rights. But it’s also a fun time. I like the parties and celebrations. It’s great to connect with people that are like me because there are a heck of a lot of straight people around me all the time!

We all make assumptions, so we should try and take some time to reflect on our assumptions. Heteronormativity can be seen as the default. If I say, “I went out with my girlfriend,” people hear, “best friend who’s a girl” or “roommate.”  Pride, and the activities that we put on and participate in, gives us the opportunity to say, “Hey, people like me exist and exist at PCL.” I think more of that would have made a big difference for me growing up.

If I had known more role models who were happy, successful women in relationships with other women, that would have made me very happy. That’s what I want to be for someone else, so they can talk about their significant others with their co-workers without reservation. 

I am the receptionist for the Minneapolis district office, or as they call me up here: the ‘Director of First Impressions’ because I’m the first person that guests see when they walk in the door.

I’ve had jobs where I felt afraid to tell people about my personal life or share with them who I am. Here at PCL, I feel accepted, like I’m not being judged by anyone. My coworkers are open and welcoming, which makes me feel comfortable to open up, and I love that everyone has even made an effort to get to know my girlfriend!

I’ve been going to the Pride festival in Minneapolis for about five or six years now, since before I even came out. It’s fun – there’s flags everywhere and everyone is singing and dancing and having a good time. I wish more people knew that everyone is welcome to go to a Pride event. You don’t have to be gay, it’s a safe space for everyone to just have fun and be themselves.

Any company can support the LGBTQ+ community by reviewing its policies and trainings to ensure that queer and trans people are protected. It’s also important to continue to have conversations about mental health, having expectations around inclusion and contributing to LGBTQ+ organizations.

Pride Month recently took on a new level of importance to me when my brother came out at age 47. It was inspiring to see him finally have the freedom to express who he really was deep down this whole time and the courage to completely change the trajectory of his life. Everyone was supportive and he’s become a role model to others on how to be brave and live an authentic life.

It’s important to me that we bring this level of support and inclusion to the workplace. I strive to make employees in my district feel as comfortable at work as they feel at home because it makes it way more fun to be here when you feel safe and welcome. I want everyone to show up energetic and engaged.

As a human-resources professional, I work with managers and employees in multiple departments. My role gives me the opportunity to interact with PCL’s diverse array of talented and focused people. I believe that people should be their authentic selves every single day.

Hate crimes against members of the LGBTQIA+ community have unfortunately been on the rise in recent years. It saddens me that in 2022, the potential for violent or abusive behavior is still a reality for marginalized groups. These conversations are more necessary now than ever. The construction industry has made progress on this front.

That’s what focuses and motivates me in my work with our Industrial DEI committee. We need to keep moving the needle and that likely means being willing to be uncomfortable. A few years ago, when my friend first opened up to me about being transgender and changing their pronouns to they/them, I definitely fumbled getting it right. But I was willing to be uncomfortable at the beginning until it became a habit. Now our friendship is even better than it was before.

To me, Pride Month gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts in a safe way. I think it’s hugely important to create safe spaces for those around me, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because I think you only unlock full potential from solid foundations. 

I’ve been asked, “Are you gay?” You’d be amazed at how many people will ask those questions. I say, “What does it matter?” Because of course, it shouldn’t!

I’m bi. I’m not shy about it, but there are people I wouldn’t want to tell because they’re just not educated on the subject, and sometimes they can be insecure. I’ve even been let go from a job when I was younger because of who I am.

There’s always another hurdle of progress that needs to be achieved. I don’t know exactly how we get there. It’s just going to take more time, education and participation from everyone. I think PCL has a great culture, an open team, strong respect policies, and solid diversity, equity and inclusion programs. We’re a leader in that area and that goes a long way.

At a previous job, we participated in a Pride Walk. We had a concrete truck driving down the street, with operations and corporate team members walking. Statements like that can help attract better people in the future. They won’t feel that construction is taboo for them.

At PCL, we want the best of the best. If we get out there more with our message of inclusivity, we’ll attract more of the best.

I’ve been celebrating Pride since I came out at age 25. I typically celebrate by joining a Pride Festival (usually in San Francisco), joining the 5k, supporting local LGBTQ+ owned businesses and providing outreach and support for LGBTQ+ youth.

To me, Pride Month means recognizing the sacrifice of the people before me to further our presence into the public eye. This allows us to be represented and be a part of the community, and to grow within the communities that already exist.

I am very proud of PCL for the strides they’re making in recognizing Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community. It really feels like PCL has an open ear and an open heart. In my district, everyone has been receptive and supportive of my ideas for Pride. I have some ideas for things we could do next year and I’m excited to bring them to life!

One thing I want people to know is that you don’t have to be gay to celebrate Pride Month. You can be an ally and support the growth of everyone.