Radiating Pride With GDUnited, a GoDaddy Employee Resource Group

Jun 30, 2022 10:00 AM ET
Ben C., Kat J., Jess G., & Michael G.   GoDaddy GDUnited, holding up a Pride flag.
Photo: Ben C., Kat J., Jess G., & Michael G. GoDaddy GDUnited

As we close out celebrations of June Pride Month in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan and recognize the impact LGBTQIA+ people have had on the world, GoDaddy is proud to be an ally and support initiatives year-round dedicated to making opportunities equal and inclusive.

Since its creation in 2014, GDUnited, a GoDaddy Employee Resource Group (ERG), has been working so that everyone – regardless of gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, or any other intersections – feels safe and can thrive at GoDaddy. We are inspired by our customers and employees in the LGBTQIA+ community and the way they radiate authenticity, conviction and courage.

The GDUnited ERG was designed to help create an environment within the walls of our company where everyone can be true to who they are and are informed regarding issues relating to LGBTQIA+ communities. GDUnited identifies opportunities for GoDaddy to engage LGBTQIA+ consumers and recruit LGBTQIA+ employees. GDUnited provides a variety of opportunities for internal education and community partnership, offering guest speakers, rainbow roadshows, and more. This June, GDUnited hosted “Drag Bingo” and scavenger hunts, and organized local offices to participate in Pride parades and festivals.

Throughout the year, GDUnited invites its LGBTQIA+ small business customers to share their stories and speak with group members. GoDaddy also owns the .gay domain extension, which brings together national organizations, local community centers, healthcare systems, travel agencies, activists, businesses and others who are allied with LGBTQIA+ communities. The .gay registry dedicates 20% of its .gay new registration revenue to benefit LGBTQIA+ nonprofits, including GLAAD and CenterLink.

“Employee Resource Groups offer employees an opportunity to feel valued, seen and represented,” said Ebony Janelle, Corporate Sustainability senior specialist and GDUnited co-president. “They give space to those who may otherwise feel underrepresented and help members to feel comfortable among a community of shared principles.”

For Ebony, being part of groups like GDUnited has given her space as an ally to enact real, actionable change and feel supported by like-minded people. She’s able to connect with employees across GoDaddy who she often doesn’t interact with and learn from them.

“I really enjoy the mentorship aspect that comes with joining an ERG,” said Erik Engstrom, Ebony’s GDUnited co-president. “Being able to learn from people and share experiences has been so valuable. Everyone has a lesson to learn, or story to tell. It’s what helps us to show up at work each day authentically and gives us a place to feel confident and comfortable in developing our careers or working through obstacles.”

For both Ebony and Erik, Pride month is about more than just having fun and celebrating; it’s about making sure LGBTQIA+ communities are honored for their contributions to society, and that their rights are preserved and expanded.

“As a Black woman whose ancestors had to fight for their own Civil Rights, supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is very intersectional to me,” Ebony said. “Pride is so wonderful and I’m proud to work for a company like GoDaddy that has continuously supported this community both internally and externally.”

Said Erik: “I appreciate that GoDaddy celebrates Pride authentically. They’re not rainbow-washing products to sell them for Pride. Instead, the company is supporting employees in becoming leaders, recognizing the work that’s being done to protect the LGBTQIA+ community, and acknowledging that there is a lot more work to be done.”

This kind of support at the corporate level is increasingly vital for those entering the workforce.

Said Ebony: “My children and their friends – they will start choosing employment and the things they want to do for the rest of their life based on which companies are authentically supporting who they are and expressing shared values.”

About GoDaddy’s Employee Resource Groups:
GoDaddy’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led groups that help employees engage in leadership and development programs and give back to the community. ERGs facilitate allyship by being open to those that identify with the group as well as the individuals who support them. We make conscious efforts to enable our employees to support one another in the workplace through celebrations such as Spirit Day, partnership and collaboration between ERGs. To learn more, visit https://careers.godaddy.com/diversity.