Diversity brings new ways of thinking, unique skillsets and opportunities for innovation. Creating a culture built on inclusivity is a crucial part of making people feel supported and that they have a space to excel at what they do best. In addition, a focus on diversity increases staff productivity, satisfaction and promotes a safe and healthy workforce. With over 11,000 employees in facilities across the globe, Gentherm has long known the value of hiring, promoting and recognizing employees of all backgrounds, and takes daily steps to make its offices inclusive environments.
This is the mission behind our Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Council, which operates on the premise that “embracing diversity inspires innovation.” We are building a culture where we value our differences to positively impact the lives of our employees, customers and communities. This initiative includes hiring and celebrating employees of all ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations.
As part of Pride Month, Ryan Pisani, Executive Director – Finance, Operations and Supply Chain, and a valued member of our DE+I Council, explained why he’s proud to be part of the initiative.
“We created the DE+I Council as our vision that Gentherm becomes more and more of a place where people can feel comfortable to be whoever they are, whoever they love, however they express themselves,” Pisani shared. He stressed the importance of recognizing what you, as an individual bring to work. “I am not just who I love or just the color of my skin or just where I was born or where I grew up. It’s all of these, plus my talents and my skills,” Pisani explained.
"Your place of employment," says Pisani, "should be a safe space, so you can go to work and say, ‘I feel safe here and can be who I am and I can bring to the table my whole person.’” And that is exactly what he feels at Gentherm. Pisani believes Gentherm is gaining a lot by cultivating a safe space of diversity, which inspires innovation and is helping to drive varied viewpoints and increase global collaboration.
Pisani explained that being part of the LGBTQ+ community “is a journey that continues almost every day.“ People, he said, often look down at his wedding ring and ask how his wife is. “So I have to come out again: ‘oh it’s not my wife. It’s my husband.’”
He encourages his colleagues to pursue positions of allyship by refraining from making assumptions about others and working to become more conscious of our unconscious bias, as a society. “Allyship means understanding the situation, understanding the circumstances, understanding the struggles, understanding the history, showing up, being a voice for those minorities who do not have a voice at a point in time. And that is how we can be an ally,” he added.
For more of Pisani’s Pride Week interview, watch the embedded video above.