At Shipt, we understand the importance of showing up. This year’s Pride Month was no exception as we expanded our initiatives to HQ employees to feel more connected, launched a new Shopper App feature known as Chosen Name and partnered with 3 organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community.
As Shipt HQ employees continued working remotely during this year’s Pride Month we made it a priority to host several company-wide virtual events focused on inclusivity and acceptance. Between game nights, speaker panels and fitness classes there was something for everyone.
“I’ve just never had a company or worked for a company that cared so much about its employees on this level,” said HQ employee André McCoy.
McCoy began working at Shipt HQ in August of 2020. As an openly LGBTQIA+ team member the native Alabamian says working for Shipt the past 11 months hasn’t just felt like a job, but a community he’s excited to be a part of. In his role he interacts daily with shoppers and members lending support over the phone and through live chat and he believes with the launch of the newest Shopper App feature, Chosen Name, it’s just another way the company shows it cares.
“I feel like this move being made here, especially making sure everyone’s name and pronoun is used properly, this is just taking it to the next level,” said McCoy.
Shipt recognizes that names are an important part of someone’s identity. The new Chosen Name feature allows a shopper the option to list a chosen name that members will see throughout an order. While the chosen name will appear for members to reference, their internal shopper account will maintain the name they originally registered with for legal reasons. The goal of this new app feature is for those who would rather go by a nickname, married name, or chosen name to shop as their most authentic self.
“I think this is a step in a positive direction not just for Shipt but for the business world in general. I hope other companies take note as well,” said Shipt HQ experience manager Jessie Towey.
Of Shipt Shoppers who responded to our most recent Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) survey, 10% said they identify as queer, gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. After receiving feedback from shoppers and countless hours spent collaborating between multiple teams at HQ the company felt there was no greater time than the present to launch a new in-app feature for shoppers to feel even more supported.
Keary Coleman, a product manager at Shipt, led the initiative to release the Chosen Name feature for Shoppers. “As we are growing and becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company, this is one small step for us in creating products that support our values,” Coleman said. “We want our shoppers to feel safe and supported when shopping with Shipt.”
As a company, we are certainly focused on improving the quality of work experience for HQ employees and shoppers, but we are also determined to support the communities we serve.
In honor of this year’s Pride Month our team donated $10,000 split between The Magic City Acceptance Center, Queer LifeSpace and GLSEN. All of these nonprofits focus on safe spaces and mental health care for the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s important to note the donation made to Magic City Acceptance Center is going directly to the Magic City Acceptance Academy set to open Fall 2021 in Homewood, AL - just a few miles from Shipt’s headquarters in Birmingham. MCAA is the first school in the state of Alabama that’s been designed to create an LGBTQ affirming enviroment where students will receive top-notch, trauma-informed instruction.
“The feeling of pride is overwhelming. It’s like a rebirth every single year and last year no one really got to have that so I think a lot of people are going to feel excited and maybe a little more loved at the end of this pride too,” said Shipt HQ experience manager Jessie Towey.
If you are looking for other ways to show your support for Pride you can visit the Shipt Shop to purchase a limited-edition shirt created by and with our LGBTQIA+ teammates.