At ONE Gas, everyone is welcome, diversity is embraced, and individuality is celebrated.
Inclusion & Diversity is a core value at ONE Gas and is at the heart of creating an environment of trust that is open and welcoming to all people.
We strive to be a community that cares for and supports one another every day. A community that stands tall for hope, equality, and unity. And, working together in partnership with our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), we continue to find ways to make a difference.
Our ERGs serve as networks that increase cultural awareness, provide career development opportunities, and promote our commitment to diversity and inclusion. The voices of our employees are not only heard here, but they help build and grow our welcoming and inclusive culture.
In celebration of Pride, I sat down (virtually, of course!) with Shannon Lavender (pictured below), Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator for Texas Gas Service, a division of ONE Gas, and current chair of the ONE Pride ERG.
Q: Thanks for joining me Shannon! Tell us a bit about ONE Pride and how long have you been a member of the group?
ONE PRIDE, formerly known as We Are ONE, was founded in 2017 and today is one of the youngest ERGs in the company. I came aboard in February 2018 as a founding member and an ally from Texas Gas Service. I helped plan and execute the company’s participation in the Austin PRIDE parade in 2018 and 2019, an event attended by over 400,000 people, as well as navigated Pride celebrating in the virtual world during COVID. I became the chair this year. It has been a pleasure watching the once smallest ERG grow to more than 150 members and I have no doubt several great leaders will continue to lead its efforts forward and help create a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
Q: In your opinion, why is it important to have an ERG that is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community?
It is important because employees need to see they are valued as members of this community. I don’t have too much else to say on that. It’s a no brainer to me why it is important, but not sure the best way to articulate that. Diversity brings value, simply put.
Q: Due to COVID-19, Pride Month (June) is being celebrated differently. What are some things the ERG has done to keep engagement high among team members?
We have begun a monthly newsletter that focuses on intersectionality of other historically marginalized groups together with the LGBTQIA+ community. During Pride month, we run “Profiles of Pride” stories on our company network (Intranet), or stories profiling our LGBTQIA+ employees and allies thereof. We held online trivia contests and have also created collages of employees showing their pride. This year we will host a panel called “LGBTQ Across the Generations.” This is a multi-generational panel in which company employees will share their experiences as members or allies of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Q: What do you think makes the ONE Pride group unique?
We are the second youngest ERG in the company and have seen the fastest growth in membership since our founding. We have never shied away from difficult conversations and will continue to push forward in our initiatives.
To learn more about our ERG's and careers at ONE Gas, visit onegas.jobs.