At Proofpoint, our people—and the range of their experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, and work skills—drive our success. We embrace and foster the diversity of our team members, customers, and stakeholders. Everyone is valued and appreciated for their lifestyles, thoughts, and talents, all of which contribute to the growth and sustainability of our business and the strength of our communities.
To support our diverse workforce, Proofpoint Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs) serve as structured, employee-led organizations that are formally recognized and integrated into the fabric of the company, cultivating compelling conversations, workshops and activities. They empower our employees to learn from one another and express their authentic selves.
Our BEACON (Black Employees and Allies Collective Outreach Network) EIG provides an environment that encourages others through shared experiences and fosters support across recruitment, career development, community outreach, professional growth and retention initiatives.
Black History Month is observed in February in the United States and Canada and observed in October in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In this blog series celebrating Black History Month, our BEACON EIG leads share their thoughts on what celebrating Black achievements means to them.
Hear from the author:
Shawn Ifill, BEACON EIG Lead, Sr. National Channel Account Manager at Proofpoint
Black History Month means celebrating the many achievements of Black people, not just from decades ago, but also shining a light on those making history today.
During Black History Month, it means so much to me when I see local, regional, and national media feature not only Black achievements but also specific programs to help support the success of Black people. Highlighting and recognizing the positive impacts and contributions Black people have made in our communities and around the globe helps to reframe the negative image society sometimes portrays.
In turn, I feel encouraged that this is also a time my kids can see positive images of Black people as they continue to build generations. As a Canadian, I am proud of the rich Black history which has helped shape our society in my country and throughout the world.
Black History Month is also a time when our allies can gain insight and understanding of our past and present struggles through our lens, and hopefully feel comfortable asking questions that may seem a bit awkward. It is a time that we can all shed light on what has been an unpleasant history with the goal of bridging the gap that divides us to foster a sense of unity and solidarity.
Black History Month helps to normalize the word “black.” It’s so interesting to me that I know people who either avoid race conversations or whisper the word “black.” To me, this is not a derogatory word; rather, it is one that accurately describes my identity.
For North America, February is Black History Month; however, we can all celebrate Black history throughout the year. I’m proud to work at an organization like Proofpoint that has enabled me to be a leader for our Black Employees and Allies Collective Outreach Network (BEACON) Employee Inclusion Group and look forward to celebrating Black History Month with my network.