Ty Pressley, Bid Response & Content Manager
For many years in my life, I compartmentalized who I was between work and home, filtering out the parts of my identity that I felt were regarded as unprofessional.
Embracing who I am, both as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and as someone who is on the Autism spectrum, has been a game-changer.
Rather than hiding those traits to blend in, I leverage those traits to stand out. When my team needs a fresh approach to a problem, they know that I often see data differently and that I can bring a new perspective to the situation.
I’m relatively new to Palo Alto Networks, but my management team is committed to my development and success. In the year that I’ve been here, I’ve seen so many people grow within the organization, and I know that if I want to pursue an opportunity within the company, my manager is ready to help me get there. My manager is absolutely a cheerleader when it comes to personal and professional development, and I think that’s true for our company culture at large.
Membership in the LGBTQIA+ Employee Network Group at Palo Alto Networks spans the globe and touches just about every organization in the company. The professional networking opportunities are practically endless, and several times a month I’ll see posts from other members looking to source candidates for new roles and opportunities.
I’m fortunate to have a management team that is unquestionably committed to my growth and success, but even if I did not, the LGBTQIA+ ENG is a backup squad of mentors and peers who also want to see me succeed.
Creating diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is not just the right thing to do, it is also critical to success. If the talent pool is full of people who all have the same background and experience, their problem-solving approach is likely to be pretty similar. When you hit a roadblock, you want more than one perspective to solve problems.
Put another way: if you’re going to illustrate a picture, would you rather have one blue crayon or a box of 48 different colored crayons? We must have a workplace that attracts people from all walks of life and a place where they feel safe and supported in being their authentic selves, because those differences are vital for our success.
Pride Month is a time for me to celebrate the queer icons who came before me and paved the road to the rights we have today. It is also a time to remember those whose lives were cut short because of their identity and the accomplishments they achieved in spite of the stigma they endured.
Alan Turing was the father of modern computing and saved millions of lives by breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code, but he died as a criminal for his homosexuality. Pride Month is a time to honor the legacies of those who did not live to see the day we can live out and proud.
Palo Alto Networks understands that diversity is a strength and that multiple perspectives help us see the big picture. I’ve worked for companies where it was “okay to be gay” but I was expected to “butch it up” to be taken seriously and be considered polished and professional.
That would never happen here. Palo Alto Networks maintains a culture of inclusivity that encourages every employee to be their authentic selves.
You belong here!