To recognize and celebrate Pride Month, The Cricket Nation is amplifying the voices of employees who are connected to the LGBTQ+ community. In this blog initially shared last year, Lead Operations Manager for AT&T and CEO of LEAGUE at AT&T Employee Group (EG) Stacey Chosed shares her perspective on representation in the workplace.

The  Stonewall Riots, which took place at The Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, are considered to be the most significant movement toward equality for the LGBTQ+ community.

To this day, the fight for equality and representation continues. The LGBTQ+ community – my community – still encounters challenges that many people don't consider, especially in the workplace.

According to a study by the Human Rights Campaign, 46% of LGBTQ workers say they are closeted at work. I know what it's like to be two different people, one at home and one in the office. It's exhausting, always trying to remember what story you told and to whom.

When I think of representation in the workplace, I think about equality and full potential. When you pretend to be someone you are not, you lose a bit of yourself and your productivity. It's hard to fully concentrate on your work because you are always wondering if someone noticed something. It's horrible.

Here at AT&T, I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented professionals who enable diversity and inclusion. I don't have to look over my shoulder anymore and can work without worrying who knows I am gay.

The unfortunate truth is not every employee works in the same environment as I do. There are still too many employees who are afraid to be themselves or report negativity in the workplace.

Success and equality in the workplace are only possible when everyone feels comfortable to be themselves. This starts with us treating and communicating with others the same way we want to be treated and communicated with. This will foster an environment of productivity without pause.

It's all about representation without discrimination!