Every culture has its heroes, icons and pioneers. As the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month continues during May, we were curious about who the members of the InnovASIAN ENG put on their lists of the Asians and Pacific…
Authenticity Works. And It’s Worth Celebrating
Christina Papadimitriou, Principal Machine Learning Engineer
Pride Month is my favorite month of the year.
I was born and raised in Greece and moved to the US when I was 18. Greece is not very inclusive toward the LGBTQ community, so I was never able to be myself, and I always felt like I had to hide my identity.
Even after I moved to the U.S., it still took me a long time to come out. But when I entered the workforce and moved to New York City, I was happy to see so many other people like me who were out and proud to be their true selves.
The first time I went to a Pride celebration in New York, I was in tears. The part of me that I put so much effort into hiding was being loudly celebrated by so many people. And I felt like I was at home, that this is where I belonged, and I was so happy to be celebrated for who I was.
I joined Palo Alto Networks in July 2021, and from day one, the environment felt so inclusive. My manager and team were vocal allies from the very beginning and made me feel so comfortable and so happy to have joined the company.
I expressed my career aspirations from the beginning and my manager has done nothing but support me. I actually just got promoted after only being here for eight months or so, and the management of my department has been wonderful about having diversity and inclusion discussions and making sure they support diverse talent.
I think that Palo Alto Networks does a great job at building an inclusive workplace, not only by having employee network groups to bring diverse communities together, but also throughout its day-to-day work.
The team cultures demonstrate inclusion in an exceptional way that I have not seen in any other organization, especially when we talk about technology and engineering groups that have very low numbers of diverse groups.
I think this company is doing a really, really great job at hiring, retaining and developing LGBTQIA+ talent.
Inclusive workplaces are extremely important so people feel safe being authentic and don’t waste energy hiding their true selves. It not only helps those individuals but also the company, because happier employees will be more productive.
I joined the LGBTQIA+ Employee Network Group here and my role is workforce lead, that includes bringing more LGBTQIA+ talent into the organization, which is one of my big passions.
This is an amazing place to work both because of the company's vision “a world where each day is safer and more secure than the one before” : , and its incredible people, both in terms of character and technical, professional skills, everybody in their discipline.
Beyond that, this is a truly inclusive company, in practice, not just in words. I've been feeling happier than ever at work, so I would definitely encourage people to join us!
One of the key quotes that comes to mind for me this month is: "She remembered who she was and the game changed." I think reflecting on being a young girl and growing into the woman I am today, I've always tried to fit in, be accommodating, and in…
I wasn't ready for college and I felt I needed to find out who I was. I wanted to see exactly what I was capable of and if I could overcome some of the toughest challenges, both mentally and physically, so I could be the best version of myself.