Global Pride looks different this year, as celebrations around the world are taking on various forms due to the global pandemic. At PVH, we asked our LGBTQIA+ associates and their allies around the world to participate in a special edition @Home Interview Series to show their individuality and hear how they are celebrating Pride 2021.
Meet Carla, Vice President of Retail & HR Administration at PVH, Ruben, Manager, Corporate & Sales Experiences at Tommy Hilfiger in Amsterdam and Nicola, Senior Manager, SIS at Calvin Klein in Amsterdam.
How are you celebrating Pride this year?
Carla: Since we are all still working remotely, I plan to attend some of the virtual Pride month activities PVH is hosting.
Ruben: Unfortunately, not at the most iconic Amsterdam Canal Parade (cancelled due to COVID), but remotely from home. Pride season in Europe runs from July to September this year and there is ton of virtual programs available. But, we really start to miss the in-person “wow” factor and the joy one feels by being surrounded by people. Within the company – I am able to participate in virtual events as we celebrate Pride at our Paris, Milan, London, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam offices.
Nicola: In a normal year without COVID-19, we would celebrate on the PVH Pride boat parade in Amsterdam. This year, I will collaborate with the WERK (Well-connected, Equality, Resourceful, Knowledge) Europe Business Resource Group to organize fun activities and use the opportunity to raise awareness for LGBTQIA+ rights.
How has the WERK BRG (Well-connected, Equality, Resourceful, Knowledge Business Resource Group) influenced your experience at PVH?
Carla: It has been such a rewarding experience to be a part of WERK. I’ve met amazing people who have become good friends. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done with several NYC non-profit organizations who provide resources and support to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ruben: WERK has given me the establishment of a more formal channel to voice corporate activism on behalf of the European community. To me, corporate activism doesn’t mean that I am standing at the front door with a protest sign. It means that there is way to tunnel back and share community feedback via a more official platform. Besides creating a community that can function as a safe space for all of our colleagues, it’s also a place of resource for the business and the community itself. Still today, within the countries we operate, our community is facing different challenges. We should not be afraid to speak up about these challenges and try to change the things over which we have control, for those individuals who do not.
Nicola: WERK has given me the opportunity at PVH to work through strategic lenses on education, activation and elevation that can influence all of our associates. We are now able to set the foundations for our members and future members to address senior management on strategies that will work toward a more inclusive and diverse community at PVH. I believe this will shape us to be successful!
What does individuality mean to you?
Carla: Being able to honestly be who you are and be accepted, appreciated and loved by your friends, family and co-workers.
Ruben: Not feeling that I need to change who I am. Being able to truly express myself for who I am and respecting others to do the same.
Nicola: For me it’s about being your authentic self. Everyone has their own individuality and this is what I believe defines who you are as a person – whether it’s the way you dress, the way you walk, the way you talk or who you choose to love. No one can take that away from you. I believe it’s important to state, when it comes to the freedom to love, who you want to love and to be your individual self, that this is the result of decades of fighting for this right by the LGBTQIA+ community. So, the freedom to express my individuality is also rooted in community.