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Celebrating Firmwide Pride Through Employee-Driven Evolution and Growth

June 29, 2022

Our team members bring ideas to life that shape the way we build a more understanding and inclusive environment for all.

Pride at Armanino is one such example. Our celebrations started with a group of employees who wanted to observe Pride Month as part of our DEI efforts. Each year since, we’ve scaled up our Pride celebrations, building upon what we’ve done in the past to make Pride more inclusive and meaningful.

Today, Pride at Armanino is a broad celebration of identity and expression. To learn more about how Armanino’s Pride celebrations got here, as well as what’s new for 2022, we sat down with Rob Moore, a member of our IDEAL (Inclusion of Diverse Employees and Leaders) team, to gather his thoughts and insights.

Our Employee-Driven, Leadership-Supported Approach to Pride

At Armanino, we’re all empowered to take on new things, not just in our business, but also in our firm’s culture. It’s this entrepreneurial spirit that has taken our Pride celebrations to the level they’re at today.

Before our first firmwide Pride event, Rob and a group of other Armanino employees noticed the absence of Pride celebrations at the firm. They felt empowered to bring the idea of celebrating Pride to their managers, then firm leadership, to see how we might include Pride as part of our formal DEI efforts. Eventually, this push led some of these group members to leadership roles in IDEAL that helped define and transform our approach in this area.

Our CEO, Matt Armanino, has also been involved in all our Pride celebrations. Matt’s support is mirrored at all levels of our organization, and it’s why our Pride events have grown in size and scope.

Pride 2022: Bigger, Brighter and More Impactful

In typical Armanino fashion, our Pride celebrations are full of fun and positive energy.

We’re continuing our employee-favorite happy hour event, but this year, it’s poised to become a larger celebration with many new faces and first-time participants. Our employees wanted to expand the opportunities to connect during Pride, so we’re adding more video-sharing across our offices and some surprises to facilitate togetherness in our Flex-In hybrid environment. We’re adding performances and video-based stories to the mix, and we’ll continue hosting a Pride panel discussion that’s been a favorite over the years.

For these events, IDEAL is working to ensure we make way for new voices and faces of Pride. Part of their mission is to expose everyone at the firm to different perspectives and experiences, so we’ll explore LGBTQ+ perspectives ranging from work life to relationship dynamics and families.

Pride will also be more visible within Armanino than ever. Recently, we made an expanded collection of Pride gear a permanent part of the Armanino Store (our employee swag outlet), making it easier to represent the cause year-round. What’s more, even our gear itself has expanded in terms of inclusivity by adapting the colors of the Progress Pride flag, which we feel is crucial to making our Pride celebrations as inclusive and welcoming as possible.

Building Inclusiveness and Community Through Pride

Each year, we’re blown away by feedback that tells us just how important Pride is to our people. With the same entrepreneurial spirit that led Rob and Brian to drive our initial Pride celebration years ago, others at Armanino are expanding our Pride celebrations and creating a deeper, richer experience for us all. This year, IDEAL invited even broader employee participation in Pride planning, allowing more individuals to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

Our Pride celebrations have not only become larger, but they’ve also become more inclusive. We’ll be hearing from people who identify as gender-fluid, LGBTQ+ individuals who have grown their families, and allies, among others, this year.

Pride celebrations within our firm, however, represent only part of our approach. We are looking for new ways to expand our impact on LGBTQ+ organizations and nonprofits to ensure they have the resources and support they need to achieve their missions. The Armanino Store now contains a link to donate to The Resource Center, a nonprofit we’ve identified that offers LGBTQ+ people resources for health, wellness, community, advocacy and education. IDEAL is also working with the Armanino Foundation to identify additional LGBTQ+ nonprofits in our communities that can benefit from our grants and volunteerism.

Courageously Connected Discussions

We feel the opportunity to hear and learn from our LGBTQ+ colleagues is a critical part of Pride. Leading with vulnerability allows us to learn from each other and ensure that no one has to feel like they’re holding themselves back. It also makes Pride more powerful and real, and that’s why our Pride celebrations have evolved to include difficult discussions.

As a firm, we don’t shy away from having impactful conversations about serious topics. We’re proud of the way our team members have shared so much with us, not only for Pride, but for issues of social and racial justice throughout the year. The trickle-down effect of exposing people to new perspectives helps us all become more courageously connected. Most importantly, we want people to feel the realness and rawness in different perspectives, as well as experience the joy and strength that results from our differences.

As our people continue to lead us and transform our approach to events like Pride and show us it’s possible to become even more diverse and inclusive, we become a stronger and more united firm.

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