Every LGBTQ+ person's story is unique to them and ever-evolving. With that in mind, there's something to be said about being around others who share similar journeys that can bring about a feeling of community and togetherness. That's why each year, LGBTQ+ Facebook employees from almost every global office travel to Facebook's headquarters to celebrate the diversity and progress of our LGBTQ+ community at our Pride@ Development Summit.
“Unite means coming together to drive action and change. It's all about giving people a voice to transform the world and leave the world in a better place than it is today.” —Pablo S., Global Client Partner”
For a few sunny, action-packed days in April, over 800 Facebook employees flooded our Menlo Park campus. The Pride@ Development Summit is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people who work at Facebook to come together as one, meaningfully connect with colleagues and hear inspiring stories from our community and keynote speakers Pamela Stewart and Dr. Vivienne Ming. Most importantly though, it's a special time to discover ways to unite together so we can continue making progress on important diversity-related issues all around the globe.
The theme for this year’s event was UNITE, which is core to all of us as an LGBTQ+ community, and brings to life the ways in which we want to have a positive impact on our company and our products. Uniting together allows us to come closer together than ever before and become catalysts for change, driving action to help make Facebook and the LGBTQ+ community stronger.
These actions for change and unity went beyond the immediate Facebook family. A small group of Pride@ Development Summit attendees helped with an onsite service project before the summit got underway. These volunteers partnered with the SF LGBT Center to make special kits for queer youth who visit the Center. These kits included water bottles, socks, jackets, special hand-written notes, and more.
“Facebook is the first company where I felt comfortable being out at work and it’s truly life-changing to have the opportunity to come together with the LGBTQ+ community to learn from each other and grow stronger together.” —Isabella M., Diversity Programs Specialist”
“PDS gave me one significant gift and reminder: a sense of belonging. As Facebook employees, we each belong to different regions, teams and levels, yet it reminded me of the power of our Pride@ community [and] that our core mission at Facebook is to bring the world closer together.” —Go T., Market Specialist, Community Operations, Japanese”
When first walking into the Pride@ Development Summit space—a massive conference room in Menlo Park reimagined with floral curtains, dazzling neon light and hundreds of smiling faces—some summit attendees were struck by the sheer size and global scale of the LGBTQ+ presence at Facebook.
“The pride was palpable and contagious,” says Roslynn T., a product designer. “After a day of hearing from leaders and colleagues, I'm returning to my team with greater confidence and inspiration to extend the empathy and courage I experienced in that room to our wider Facebook community.”
Macarena G., a business recruiter, agrees. “The summit was an incredible opportunity to connect with other members from our community, share our stories, and be inspired.”
For Giuliana G., a program manager on the AR/VR Legal team, being at the summit felt like a dream fulfilled, not just because she had always wanted to attend something of this size and scope, but because she knew her team had her back. “Not only was the summit an amazing way for queer employees from around the world to connect and learn from one another,” Giuliana says, “it also was time well spent truly developing our leadership skills. And from the day it was announced, my management team publicly voiced their support for anyone who wanted to attend!”
“Since joining Facebook,” she says, “I have felt encouraged to always bring my 100% authentic self to work, but actions often speak louder than words. By hosting this event, Facebook has made it very clear that retaining and supporting diverse employees is a top priority.”