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Employee Story

"When a person feels safe enough to ‘come out’, they are much happier and productive."

Teri Albert
Quality Engineer, DIBU Quality & Program Excellence Global Lead, LGBT+ Employee Resource Group, Dallas, United States

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Teri Albert, and my pronouns are whatever you want. I’m a Quality Engineer with the DIBU Quality & Program Excellence team and the Global Lead for the LGBT+ Employee Resource Group, also known as the Rainbow Connection. I identify as non-binary, queer, homoflexible, and polyamorous. I’ve been with Hitachi for 11 years. I’m based just outside of Dallas, TX in the small community of Princeton where I live with my cat Sebi and my lizard Phinn.

“I’ve learned that when a person feels safe enough to ‘come out’, to live their lives authentically, they are much happier and more productive.”

Teri Albert, Quality Engineer, DIBU Quality & Program Excellence Global Lead, LGBT+ Employee Resource Group, Dallas, United States

How did you get involved in setting up the Rainbow Connection – ERG?

It all started out with a survey two years ago; I took the survey on employee support and Employee Resource Groups. It asked about interests in supporting or leading an ERG. I thought “Why not!” A week later, I got a call asking if I’d be interested in leading an ERG. I’d recently come out to my co-workers that I’m queer, so I thought why not lead an LGBT ERG? Two years later I find myself at the Out and Equal summit learning about ways we can improve our ERG and ensure our community get the best support from the organization.

Teri Albert

Why are our Employee Resources Groups so important to our employees?

I’ve learned that when a person feels safe enough to “come out”, to live their lives authentically, they are much happier and more productive. ERGs provide many types of support for employees; they are a place where employees can meet to discuss their challenges and get support. They provide a communication conduit between the group and leadership and can develop programs that benefit the minority group and the company. I’ve always felt if a company takes care of their employees, then their employees will take care of the business and overall make the company successful.

What drives Hitachi’s commitment to DEI and do you feel we are making good progress?

I definitely think things have changed for the better regarding DEI at Hitachi. When I first started here, I never would have considered coming out. I think our leaders now are much more committed to valuing employees and their diversity. When I have senior leaders wanting to attend our happy hour sessions, I know we have grown in a much more positive DEI direction.

It’s the younger generations that are changing the face of DEI as an overall movement. Gone are the days when you had to hide being LGBT. More and more people are identifying as non-heteronormative either in their sexual orientation and/or gender representation. For the LGBT community, DEI is a transition point to facilitate understanding of who and what we are, and that we have as much right to be here as anyone else. This is both generational and cultural awareness. There are currently only 11 countries where being LGBT is protected, and there are still many more countries where being LGBT is illegal and even warrant a death penalty. Until being LGBT is legal everywhere we still have work to do.

What can our employees and Rainbow community look forward to in the future?

Our biggest goals in FY23 are to deploy a pronouns program and an Ally-to-Advocate program and create a Transition Handbook. The Pronouns program is designed to facilitate conversations around gender and gender identity in a safe manner. The Ally-to-Advocate (A2A) Program will be an interactive learning program to certify non-LGBT employees as allies and safe people. Our goal with both programs is to create a safer environment, especially in at-risk countries, for our LGBT employees. The Transition Handbook will help transgender employees as they transition in the workplace. This will include how to change their name/gender marker, what kind of gender affirmation benefits are available to them, and how to successfully deal with any negative situations that might arise.

We want to continue with the success we had with our Pride events from last year into the future, and eventually hope to have Hitachi Vantara booths at some of the larger Pride festivals. We will continue to provide speakers both during Pride month and throughout the year to help facilitate conversations about important LGBT+ topics.