This Pride Month, we are celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and the launch of SDG&E’s newest employee resource group: the LGBTQIA+ Allies ERG. The group aims to foster an environment that educates, enhances and sustains the LGBTQIA + Ally community where everyone can feel a sense of belonging, be seen and bring their whole self to the workplace in an authentic way. The goal is to provide a safe space for connecting and educating members and allies, with a strong emphasis on all employees feeling “proud to be me at SDG&E.”
The ERG has a strong team of SDG&E employees leading the way, with a focus on equity, equality, respect and inclusivity. In the Q&A below, get to know Robert Gabriel, Project Manager – Wildfire Mitigation Strategy and Director at Large of the LGBTQIA+ Allies Employee Resource Group.
What’s your role at SDG&E? What are some of the things you enjoy about your job?
I am a Project Manager on the Strategy team within the Wildfire Mitigation department. In my role, I support our regulatory analytics team, oversee the development of a risk model visualization tool, and help ensure regulatory requirements are met. It’s really meaningful to know that the work we do contributes to keeping our communities safe. Also, there’s so much opportunity when it comes to wildfire mitigation, that every day is a new opportunity to innovate and to learn.
Why is it important to you that SDG&E celebrates Pride Month?
It is important that SDG&E celebrates Pride Month and other diversity heritage months to promote inclusivity and acknowledge the vast diversity across our employee base and the communities we serve. What resonates with me about Pride Month at SDG&E is how it serves as a reminder that the doors are open to enter a safe and inclusive workplace, where I can feel comfortable being “out” and acknowledge that I have a same-sex partner in everyday conversation, and where I don’t feel that I will be judged or treated negatively because of that.
Are there any LGBTQIA+ community organizations that you are involved with that you would like to share more about?
I’m very excited to be a part of SDG&E’s new employee resource group for the LGBTQIA+ Community and Allies! Outside of work, I am involved with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) as a singer and choreographer. SDGMC changes lives one voice at a time by creating a positive musical experience that excites and engages our audience. Our mission is to build community support and provide a dynamic force for social change. It has been a truly rewarding experience to be among such talented and passionate individuals who love to perform and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community. Check out www.sdgmc.org for more info about the next show or how to join!
What advice would you give someone who is a new ally or member to the LGBTQIA+ community?
Demonstrated allyship can go such a long way in fostering a psychologically safe environment where members of the LGBTQIA+ community can also feel a sense of belonging. I recommend practicing using inclusive language as well as sharing and respecting one’s pronouns.