Tierny Bierkamp-Boyd is a biochemist turned IT and Marketing fanatic, going on twelve years strong in the industry. She is a happy wife, mommy, avid cyclist, speaker, and outdoor enthusiast. She loves hanging out with family and friends, books, craft brews, baked goods, yoga, music, rose gardening, and kickin’ butt at Cushman & Wakefield.
Why is it important to self-identify at work as LGBTQ+ or an ally?
Personally, I am significantly happier and most productive when I can be myself, no matter where I am. I am the best Me, and I give the best of myself in all things. The freedom to speak openly about my wonderful family, plans for the weekend, daily occurrences and struggles, etc., without the fear or need to screen my conversation is invaluable. Knowing that the people around me, and the environments I’m in, are not only ‘out’ but also ‘equal’ encourages that openness within me; it makes me happy. And the more inclusive and open I can be, the more it encourages others to follow suite. Happiness and comfort are the ultimate mediums to go viral, especially in a workplace. If I can be my best, and my peers and coworkers feel the freedom to give their best, we can truly funnel our skills, talents, and vision back into our company. The reality of life is that you get what you give; and if a workplace can give a lot, in the form of acceptance and encouragement, those within the LGBTQ+ community can give that company back just as much and more, in all areas of engagement. We can be allies to each other, and stronger, better, together. Outside of my individual feelings, self-identifying at work also matters to when it comes to physically building a better company in the form of data.
It’s significantly important for companies to providing options and track metrics pertaining to all employed and underrepresented groups. Not just LGBTQ+. How can we, as a company, respond to discrepancies and contradictions across the business, biased and unfair treatment, and other red flags or privileges if we can’t provide an accurate representation through concrete data? How do we approach turnover or lack of upward mobility? How can we navigate the successes and areas of opportunity? How can we provide the right resources? How can we assure our colleagues and team members that we are dedicated to building an inclusive culture if we can’t measure our own progress? Identifying is key.
How did you self-identify at work?
Oddly enough, Cushman & Wakefield marks the first moment in my career that I didn’t have a conscious “coming out” and self-identifying process. It just happened naturally. I’ve been blessed with a warm, open culture, and amazing colleagues, who made me comfortable with being myself without me even realizing it. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint the moment I acknowledged that I was a lesbian, or even inferred it. I know we all have room for improvement, but in terms of inclusiveness, that notion speaks volumes about Cushman & Wakefield to me. Identifying here was as easy as breathing, and when Unity became available, I was stoked to have a group formed that captured the natural progression I was already feeling and experiencing.
How do you celebrate Pride?
In my household, Pride is equivalent to Christmas; all month long the excitement builds with numerous events, including parties, gatherings, volunteering and community sponsored occasions, then finally, on the last weekend of June, comes the Pride parade. Instead of Santa we get an epic rainbow explosion, and it’s just as exciting.
Every morning of parade day, my family and I participate in either the Pride Run 5K, or the Ride for Pride cycling event. We meet with the same bunch of friends we’ve had for a decade, eat breakfast, and make our way down to the city. St. Louis throws a massive Pride, one of the largest in the country, and it takes hours to experience the floats, bands, and entertainment along the parade route. Some years we march in it, volunteer for it, and other times, we just enjoy it. After the march, the festival kicks off the start to the weekend, and there are art vendors, amazing food, popular musicians hit the stages, dances, memorials and monuments to mark our progress and history … there really aren’t enough words to describe how much fun is had, and how powerful the event is. I always cry at least once.
After a few hours of that, we come home and hit the pool. Nothings better than celebrating love with the people who matter most to you.