Belonging Spotlight - Alex

Belonging Spotlight - Alex

Personal Background

  • Name: Alex
  • Age Range: 31-40
  • Gender and Sexual Orientation: Male, Gay
  • Ethnic Background: Hispanic

    Your Journey to Belonging

    Describe a moment in your career when you felt a true sense of belonging.
    • During a team retreat, our manager openly praised my project ideas, highlighting my unique perspective as an asset. This public recognition made me feel truly valued and accepted.
      Have there been specific challenges you've faced in the workplace related to your identity?
      • Yes, initially, I faced some subtle exclusion in social gatherings. I overcame this by initiating a company-wide inclusivity workshop, which opened up conversations and improved understanding.

        Creating Safe and Inclusive Spaces

        Have you taken any steps to create a more inclusive environment in your workplace?
        • I started an LGBTQ+ affinity group, providing a space for discussions and support. It has grown to include allies and significantly improved workplace inclusivity.
          Share a story where you helped someone else in the workplace feel included or supported.
          • A new team member from the LGBTQ+ community was hesitant to participate in discussions. I mentored them, boosting their confidence, and now they’re a key contributor in meetings.

            Lessons and Insights

            What have you learned about yourself and others while navigating your identity in the workplace?
            • I’ve learned the power of vulnerability and open communication. It’s amazing how sharing my experiences has encouraged others to open up and fostered a more empathetic workplace culture.
              What advice would you give to others who might be struggling to find their place in a professional setting?
              • Be your authentic self and seek allies who support and understand you. Also, don’t hesitate to be the change-maker in fostering inclusivity.

                Looking Ahead

                What changes or initiatives would you like to see implemented in workplaces to promote diversity and inclusion?
                • Regular diversity training programs and more visible support from top management in diversity initiatives.
                  If you have been part of any diversity and inclusion initiatives, what impact have they had?
                  • The initiatives have created a more open, respectful, and inclusive work culture. There's a noticeable difference in how people interact and support each other.


                    What does belonging in the workplace mean to you?
                    • Belonging means being accepted for who I am, having my contributions valued, and feeling comfortable to express my identity without fear of judgment.
                      Additional Thoughts:
                      • Embracing diversity isn’t just the right thing to do; it brings a wealth of perspectives and ideas, which is invaluable for any organization.
                        "There are qualities in founders, difficult to find because they are rare, and even harder to teach: Passion, grit, flexibility, open mindedness, and mission driven. In Sunday Afternoon Project we have not just one founder, but two; establishing a certainty that this work will change the world."

                        Paul O'Brien

                        CEO a Mediatech Ventures Venturese

                        "Luis and Hans have absolutely everything you want to see in entrepreneurs, drive, passion and persistence. We have no doubt they will continue to succeed and create safe spaces for us all."

                        Tina Cannon

                        President and CEO Austin LGBT Chamber

                        "Luis and Hans are brilliant business founders who easily could have remained focused building their empire and making more and more money for themselves. That they have chosen to apply their keen entrepreneurial skills and rally their large, passionate networks to create safe and inclusive spaces for those in need of them (which is all of us!) is so very inspirational. I am excited to watch them change the world for the better, and I'm deeply honored to count them as friends!!"

                        Afam Onyema

                        CEO and Co-Founder, GEANCO Foundation