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"Widening the Lens to a More Diverse Workplace"

Michaela Murtagh - cropToday’s guest blog post comes from Michaela Murtagh, co-chair of Lilly Field PRIDE, the employee resource group for field-based employees, executive sales representative for Lilly USA’s Dermatology division.

In light of Sunday’s senseless victimization and violence in Orlando, I write this with a heavy heart, and extend my most sincere sympathies to the loved ones of those who lost their lives. For members and allies of the LGBT community, June is a time to commemorate the progress we have made since the Stonewall riots and the impact LGBT people have had around the world. Although last weekend's events have shadowed the excitement of Pride Month, it is important now more than ever that we stand in support and demonstrate the positive contributions of the LGBT community.

At Lilly, we are all encouraged to be our true and authentic selves. To me, bringing one’s entire self to work means never having to be concerned about what someone might think when I talk about my partner or my son. It means having senior leaders, colleagues and teammates who support me and the rest of the LGBT community, regardless of our differences.

Immediately after this weekend’s tragedy, our Field PRIDE executive sponsor, Wei-Li Shao, vice president of Lilly sales and operations, and Pete Salzmann, vice president of specialty business, reached out to me and fellow Field PRIDE members, asking for guidance and direction on how to best support our community. They offered comfort and sympathy during this difficult time. It is this support that makes me feel valued at work and contributes to Lilly’s inclusive culture. These connections can start anywhere, and programs such as reverse mentoring help foster an environment of understanding and widen the lens to a more diverse workplace.

As a field-based employee, I am passionate about staying engaged and making meaningful connections with colleagues. This can be challenging for an LGBT individual, and I believe the challenge extends to all demographics. It’s possible for anyone to feel disconnected. My involvement with Field PRIDE has helped me stay engaged in diversity-and-inclusion efforts at Lilly and allows me to bring my entire self to work each day. In return, this leads to enhanced business results and higher employee engagement, benefiting Lilly as a whole.

A company isn’t a company without its people. For Lilly, groups like Field PRIDE bring creative decision-making and vibrancy to the workplace. And support from our teammates and allies drives us to progress as a community. Each of us has a face and a story, and we’re comfortable being ourselves at work. I'm thankful that Lilly encourages us to do so.

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