At Battelle, we celebrate our Solvers for being their authentic selves. One way is by celebrating Pride each June, when we honor the pivotal moment of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising that took place in Manhattan. Battelle’s Prism employee resource group leads the effort to support and advocate for Battelle's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and allied employees in a way which makes all people feel safe, supported and welcome.
On June 15, Prism hosted a panel discussion for employees to discuss being their authentic selves and sharing ways allies can support members of the LGBTQ community. The panel included guest speaker Erin Upchurch, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, Ohio, the largest and longest serving organization in Ohio solely dedicated to serving and supporting LGBTQ youth. Additional panelists from Battelle included Wes Hall, Vice President of Education and Philanthropy and Sara Florkey, Program Manager for Culture Change and Prism’s Chair. The panel discussion was moderated by Aimee Kennedy, Battelle Senior Vice President of Human Resources and the Executive Sponsor for Prism.
When asked what challenges arise when a person can’t be their authentic self, special guest panelist Erin Upchurch answered, “It’s like carrying a really heavy backpack that you can’t take off. Having a sense of belonging is so important to help lift that burden.”
In response to concerns of making missteps when learning about people and their authentic selves, panelist Wes Hall encouraged inclusion among colleagues by stating, “Don’t let the fear of making a mistake keep you from making a difference.”
At the end of the discussion, Erin Upchurch summarized her desire for creating a safer community now and for the next generation by stating that “nobody should ever have to ask permission to exist.”
In addition to the panel discussion, Prism continuously aims to create an inclusive environment for employees, socializing and including pronouns in signatures, flying the Pride flag on the King Avenue campus, and regularly reviewing ways to be more effective in creating an inclusive environment for our LGBTQ community and allies. Additionally, Prism helps position Battelle as an employer of choice by striving to improve the organization’s annual ranking on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which was 95 on the 2020 report.