Celebrating Pride at WCD with Rob Steed, VP Partnerships & Client Engagement
We are proud of the diverse individuals that make WCD's culture one that is entrepreneurial, creative and caring. We also recognize there is always work to do in creating a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels empowered to be themselves. This Pride Week, our leadership team is committing to joining the conversation and taking steps toward a more diverse and inclusive future.
In celebration of Calgary's Pride Week, we interviewed our Vice President of Partnerships & Client Engagement, Rob Steed, to learn more about what Pride means to him as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
What does Pride mean to you and your family?
For me, pride means being authentic and proud with who you are without having to hide your identity. It’s about loving yourself and not feeling ashamed or scared.
Growing up in rural Nova Scotia was tough. I was isolated in a very small town where gay people were not open about their sexual orientation. Things changed slightly when I moved to PEI for university and eventually to Calgary with a friend, but it was never easy. Fast forward a few decades and it wasn’t until I was almost 40 that I was truly comfortable with my true self, and now I think, “what a waste”. I think of all the time spent trying to create a personality that fit with people around me, and it’s something I hope people will not have to continually go through in the future.
How will you be celebrating Calgary Pride this week?
I will be celebrating with my husband and son. Tyler and I have been together for 22 years. We will celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary on August 29, during Pride week. We plan to take in as many virtual events as we can with our son.
How do you show support for diversity and inclusion in the workplace year-round?
I’m open. I no longer hide who I am, and I relate to many of my personal stories when talking about business problems. Many of my clients and colleagues have met my husband and supported us while we were going through the adoption process with our son. When you step into my office, you will see personal photos and memories that celebrate our family.
What is your advice to businesses who want to be better allies to the LGBTQ+ community?
First and foremost, be supportive and treat everyone fairly no matter of race, religion, or sexuality. Secondly, get involved and participate in community events and help with charitable donations that directly help our at-risk youth who may living in a dangerous environment.
Lastly, I would recommend that all businesses take the time to find those professional organizations that support our community both professionally and personally. Several years back, I joined the Calgary-based Pride in Business group and it’s been so great to make connections. Not only did I make friends in the group, but I was able to connect with TD Bank to help my son start a small business which never would have been possible without this wonderful organization.
Show Your Pride
Calgary Pride Week takes place August 27 - Sept 6, 2021. Learn more about the week's festivities and what you can do to get involved by visiting www.calgarypride.ca.