When Jon Pinney first joined Bluecore, he was looking for LGBTQIA+ colleagues when he stumbled upon Rainbowcore, a private Slack group for LGBTQIA+ Bluecore employees.
“I joined the group and realized there was interest in creating a formal ERG, but some people were hesitant to be out at work,” Pinney said.
But soon, with support from their colleagues, five members of Rainbowcore submitted an ERG proposal to Bluecore’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee to formalize the creation of QCore.
“QCore serves as a safe space for LGBTQIA+ Bluecorians and allies alike, and we also support and celebrate the other diverse groups within Bluecore,” Pinney said. “While the main QCore group is open to help foster inclusivity and understanding, we have kept Rainbowcore private for those who feel more comfortable there.”
Pinney has found that the visibility facilitated by the ERGs has created positive change across Bluecore’s culture.
“The mere existence of the groups does make a difference,” he said. “Knowing that the company fully supports ERGs meant to support historically marginalized groups is empowering, and I have seen even members of the QCore and Rainbowcore realizing that they no longer need to be in the closet. There is definitely still more work that can be done here, and we are in no way finished, but the foundations are there to help us continue to grow these efforts as our company continues to grow.”
“Knowing that the company fully supports ERGs meant to support historically marginalized groups is empowering.”
As Bluecore grows, the focus on building a diverse and inclusive culture is at the heart of the team’s work, both internally and for clients.
“Bluecore’s mission is to help retailers identify their best customers and keep them for life, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or any other dividing feature,” Pinney said. “And internally, our driving value of ‘one Bluecore’ brings us together with a shared mission. Our people and DEI teams, with the support of our executive leadership, have made it clear that Bluecore is a place where all the individuals on our team belong.”
Pinney shared more about how QCore continues to support “one Bluecore” for all.
- Women at Bluecore
- Black at Bluecore
- Mental Health Core Support
Our company is at its busiest leading up to the holidays, and last year, we thought it would be great to have an event that brought everyone together. Since we are remote first, we had to get creative.
The QCore executive committee had been bouncing around some ideas on ways to engage more team members across the company, including cross-ERG events, and we came up with an idea to have a charity auction. I put together the initial plan and presented it to our DEI committee, who was on board. I partnered with two members of that team to put together the specific rules and deadlines for the event. We also got permission to have a donation match from the company.
To get everyone involved, we had each ERG pick a specific charity they wanted to raise money for, and then had different Bluecorians volunteer the items and experiences to be auctioned off — including multiple members of the executive committee who listed the first items. This drummed up a lot of excitement for the event, which raised about $10,000 total across the five charities and had broad involvement across the company. It was a great opportunity to bring the company together, and I learned a lot.
On making an impact on DEI:
We are a small company with under 400 employees, and our DEI efforts are young. That being said, there’s definitely an effort to create an inclusive workplace where all types of individuals feel supported, welcome and part of the team. This creates a great opportunity for those interested in participating in our DEI efforts to step up and make a difference — because in this smaller environment, each individual can make a significant impact.
On creating meaningful experiences:
We’ve had some great activities and events from both our DEI committee and our specific ERGs. Recently, QCore brought in a speaker from a company called Awesomely Authentic who spoke to the role of LGBTQ+ representation in media over the last 100 years.
It was incredible to me to realize that most representations of LGBTQ+ individuals in mainstream media over the last 100 years were always negative. People like me were either the villain or the joke, and it’s incredible to see how media influences behavior: Since streaming started, so much more attention has been paid to telling stories like mine, which ultimately drives awareness and understanding.