Marriage. Motherhood. Management. Whatever your calling, do it as your genuine self. At Verizon, we celebrate that we’re all #ConnectedbyPride. V teamer Kimmah D. shares how Verizon has empowered her to embrace who she really is.
Be true to yourself.
In a world where you can be whoever you want, why be anyone but yourself? This lesson was valuable for Kimmah, who came to Verizon as a customer service representative in 2011. Engaged and waiting for the legalization of same sex marriage, Kimmah began her career with the same mindset she’s always had: hide who you are in the workplace. This all changed on her first day at Verizon. Kimmah says, “My supervisor told me to never hide who I was. Verizon hired all of me. I don’t remember having to do anything but be myself.”
Knowledge is power. For Kimmah, knowing she had the support of her team gave her the power to be authentic on the job. “My partner and I got married in 2011 and I was able to share the joy with my teammates; never once was I asked to keep it to myself. When my daughter was on her way, my teammates threw me a baby shower and celebrated the event as if nothing were different about our situations.” After welcoming her daughter, Kimmah transferred to the technical support team. Throughout the simultaneous change in life and career, she was embraced by her leaders and teammates. “Aside from being sleep deprived (with a new baby), I was incredibly happy and felt very much supported. Our family was celebrated and I was encouraged to be authentic at work.”
When I was hired, I would have never dreamed that this would be my path. Frankly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grow up but I would have never thought I would be able to do it and still be as authentic and transparent about my life as I am.
Connected by pride.
Inspiration fosters empowerment. Kimmah’s next step was to inspire others. Verizon’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees of Verizon and their Allies (GLOBE) Employee Resource Group allowed her to become a champion for other LGBTQ+ employees. In October 2018, she was invited to attend the 2018 Out & Equal Summit in Seattle, WA. There she was able to “…stand with other leaders in their respective industries, diversity and inclusion leaders, and LGBTQ+ people to represent a company that proudly accepts, embraces, and celebrates what makes me and my peers unique.” Now a Culture and Communications analyst, Kimmah promotes an environment that best embraces diversity.