Computer products reseller Tech Data increased its presence at St. Pete Pride by sevenfold this year, sending a record 700 employees, family members, and friends to march in Florida’s largest pride parade, reports Sharon Kennedy Wynne for the Tampa Bay Times. It’s a fitting contribution by one of the parade’s major sponsors, and the biggest public company in Florida.
Tech Data has been participating in St. Pete Pride forthe past three years–an effort that was spearheaded by the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Spectrum. David K. Johnson, a history professor at the University of South Florida, believes this makes their appearance at pride more meaningful, rather than just a corporate takeover. Additionally, “corporate America has been ahead of the politicians in this area, especially in conservative states like Florida where we still don’t have statewide legal protection,” he said. “But most major corporations do.”
Tech Data CIO John Tonnison traces the company’s participation and commitment to diversity and inclusion to the impact of millenial employees. “They are tremendously aware before they join a company of the reputation and its values,” he said. “I’m becoming increasing aware that they are looking for signs of cultural intelligence, and corporate social responsibility, in fundamental goodness. I don’t remember that 15 years ago. Now it’s a frequent conversation.”
Read the Tampa Bay Times article here.