Uplight’s PRISM Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG) promotes an inclusive community for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer employees, and allies. PRISM provides educational, support, social, and networking opportunities for LGBTQ(+) identifying employees and allies within the Uplight community.
Here I speak to PRISM Alliance’s Allie Bull, Daniel Pollak, and Marina Octon about their experiences working at Uplight:
What are your roles and what do you do at Uplight?
Allie Bull: I am an eCommerce Operations Analyst.
Daniel Pollak: I am a Product Owner on the Data Services team in the Deliver and Operate Pillar.
Marina Octon: I’m a Product Operations Analyst for Uplight’s Home Energy Reports product. I’m also one of the co-leaders for PRISM Alliance, Uplight’s LGBTQ+ and allies ERG.
Tell me about Prism Alliance, its members, and the goals of your group.
Marina: PRISM Alliance stands for Pride, Raising Awareness, Involvement, Support, and Mentorship. PRISM Alliance’s role is to promote an inclusive community for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer employees, and allies. We provide LGBTQ+ focused networking, in addition to educational and social opportunities at Uplight.
Daniel: We serve as a visible and accessible resource for LGBTQ(+) employees and their allies and strive to affirm LGBT identity, build community and cultivate equity.
Allie: We want to make sure everyone, regardless of their sexual identity, feels safe, accepted, and cared for Uplight. In addition to building community, PRISM is a space to network, participate in educational series, and be curious!
What makes working at Uplight great for LGBTQ+ identifying persons?
Allie: Uplight is great because you can be who you are and be open about that without fear of judgment. I have never felt like I needed to hide who I am. I always feel safe mentioning that I have a girlfriend and bringing her to company events. I also love that people at Uplight are very eager to learn and expand their knowledge of LGBTQ+ issues. We’ve had different forums and educational topics on things like gender and sexuality and each time, the high levels of engagement and participation surprised me.
Marina: Uplight has played an important role in affirming my own identity. I was assigned female at birth, raised as a girl, and grew into a woman. I haven’t questioned my identity for most of my life, despite feeling a little out of place at times. In 2020, Uplight hosted a series of educational training on Identity. It was my first time seeing such an initiative in a company. One of those sessions was about gender identity. I was very emotional before, during and after the session.
After a few weeks of self-reflection, introspection and processing, it clicked and I understood why this training session was so moving to me: I am non-binary. One of the things I was afraid of was being treated differently at work; that fear quickly faded away when I realized that everyone I came across at Uplight are lovely and supportive.
Daniel: I was fortunate to join Uplight around the time PRISM held its first meeting. It was fantastic to meet fellow members of the gay community at Uplight and know that I am not alone in my background and experience as a member of the community. My previous company was small and I was the only out member of the LGBTQ+ community. Being able to join a company that supports diversity is thrilling and exciting.
What do you think Uplight should aspire to be or do to better support LGBTQ+ identifying persons at Uplight?
Allie: I think Uplight could work to recruit and support employees who identify as transgender. There are many other identities represented at Uplight and I think we can continue to focus on folks who have an even more challenging time when it comes to gaining employment, especially in the tech space.
Marina: I think that Uplight is on the right path with supporting LGBTQ+ employees. I don’t think there is a finish line to supporting marginalized communities; it’s an ongoing effort. Uplight’s intention is genuine and there is a real sense of care.
What would you say to other LGBTQ+ identifying persons who are looking at working at Uplight?
Allie: I would tell them that they already have a large group of people who support and embrace them, even on their first day at Uplight. They will be surrounded by people who will champion them regardless of their identity. They will be able to be their authentic self the second they start working here.
Marina: Uplight understands that diversity, inclusivity and equity towards LGBTQ+ folks require continuous learning from all of us. One of our core values is “Do the Right Thing.” That doesn’t mean that we’ll always get it right the first time around. For instance, with PRISM Alliance, we’re still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It takes time and energy. We ask tough questions and keep our LGBTQ+ community’s best interest in mind. It’s exhilarating to be in a position where we work with different people across the company to shape culture together.
Daniel: As a gay man, Uplight is the first place that I’ve worked where I can bring my entire self to work. Our PRISM alliance is a close-knit group of employees who meet regularly for fun or lecture series, including this summer’s Gender and Sexuality: Awareness and Responsiveness Training by Queer. We are here to support out and closeted members of our community in addition to allies or parents of queer children in any way possible and would love to welcome more people to PRISM!
Visit the Uplight Careers page to learn more about joining the Uplight team.