Big Tech Firms Proudly Tout Inclusion, Diversity At Silicon Valley Pride


It started quietly as the fire engine pulled onto Market Street…there wasn’t even a siren. But that’s because Sunday’s parade wasn’t meant to force change but to show how much things have already changed.

“The people wanted to come out and show,” said Parade Coordinator Murray Wicks, “…and there was also a lot more corporate interest.”

The event changed its name from San Jose Pride to Silicon Valley Pride and the big tech firms, from Google to Oracle to Intel, were competing to show how inclusive they can be.

“It’s really good because it’s represented by all the big companies,” said spectator Barbara Sigala, “and I like that. I saw a lot of T-shirts, a lot of support.”

Protesters actually interrupted the San Francisco Pride Parade over corporate involvement, but in San Jose, they consider it a sign of progress that big companies are now proudly touting their diversity.

ALSO READ: Silicon Valley Becomes Hotbed for Employee Activism

“But I don’t think corporations, until recently, really believed it,” said Wicks. “And I think they’re started to believe it because they realized a diverse workforce is a good workforce. Everyone’s fighting for talent, especially in this valley.”

With the Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting still fresh in people’s minds, there was a strong police presence and there were long lines at the Pride Festival as bags were checked and people were checked with metal-detecting wands. But the mood seemed to be one of resolution rather than fear.

“We are here to support people,” said a marcher calling herself “Smashley.”

“We’re not here to be scared; we’re not here to back away. We’re here to celebrate love and that’s what’s important to us.”

There was a general belief that the tide of public opinion has turned in favor of gay rights and diversity in general, and that the surge of violence in society is the last desperate act of people who cannot accept that the world has changed. (read more)

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