American Airlines’ international Pride groups support the global LGBTQ community
Charlotte Pride Visionary Sponsor American Airlines takes Pride worldwide!
A note from Charlotte Pride: At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew there may have to be changes to our organization’s programs and community events. The result is this weekend’s virtual festival and parade livestreams, as well as other virtual events. We’re grateful to American Airlines for their continued support during the pandemic, allowing Charlotte Pride to continue presenting a wide variety of community events, programs, and projects. We’re excitedly looking forward to 2021, when we hope in-person events can begin again and we can welcome you once again to the Charlotte Pride VIP Experience, presented by American Airlines!
For more than 25 years, American has pioneered fair minded policies and practices for its LGBTQ team members, customers and suppliers. In 1994, team members created the airline’s first Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG), known today as Pride, which advocates for LGBTQ customers and team members around the world.
Since then, American’s international team members have joined Pride’s efforts. Team members have founded chapters in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Mexico, Peru and the United Kingdom, totaling more than 2,500 involved team members. Chapter members create awareness of LGBTQ issues, promoting equality at the workplace and in their communities.
Outreach, education and support for the global LGBTQ community is at the center of Pride’s mission. In Argentina, for example, Pride team members proudly support Casa MANU, which offers housing to abandoned children with HIV/AIDS. As a result of Pride’s hard work, American was recently certified as a diverse and inclusive workplace by the City of Buenos Aires, making the airline the first and only carrier in Argentina to receive the distinction.
“American has been flying to Argentina for 30 years, and in that time we have seen firsthand the evolution of LGBTQ rights in the country,” said Viviana Nicola, Argentina Pride President and Buenos Aires-based flight attendant. “Our local Pride chapter is truly honored to have received this recognition as we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of marriage equality in Argentina.”
In Peru, the Pride chapter has also had a banner year, recently celebrating American becoming one of the first companies in the country to offer health benefits to same-sex partners, an important step forward for the country’s LGBTQ community. Through their work with Pride Connection Peru — a network that promotes inclusive work environments for the country’s LGBTQ community — the team hopes to advance equality efforts in the country.
“Our goal at Pride is to help amplify the LGBTQ voices at our airline so that we can all take part in creating a more inclusive workplace and, above all, a more inclusive community,” said Mylene Flecha, Peru Pride’s Community Relations Chair and Lima’s Flight Attendant Base Manager. “Peru is on the verge of greater societal progress on LGBTQ equality. We are proud to be part of this change that translates into better workplaces, more business opportunities and optimal conditions where our team members can reach their full potential.”
In 2019, Pride chapters were founded in Brazil and Mexico. In Brazil, the Pride chapter has recently focused on community initiatives. Team members have worked with São Paulo’s Casa Florecer, a shelter that provides housing and support to the homeless transgender community. In Mexico, the chapters in Monterrey and Mexico City recently helped refurbish a rural community center and preschool on the outskirts of Mexico City.
In Europe, team members have founded Pride chapters in London, Liverpool and Paris, championing causes like the Terrence Higgins Trust, the United Kingdom’s leading HIV and sexual health foundation.
Although this year’s Pride parades are canceled around the world due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Pride EBRG team members have pledged to continue working behind the scenes to provide support to its members and the communities they call home.
“The Pride EBRG passionately and actively advocates for diversity initiatives within the LGBTQ+ community, so that our voices may be heard,” said David Cox, the Pride EBRG Global Lead and Flight Service Manager at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “Having an inclusive workplace allows every team member to feel supported and deliver their best.”