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Western Celebrates Pride Month in 2024

Western Celebrates Pride Month 2024

Building Bridges: Embracing Diversity, Connecting Communities

In alignment with our 2024 DEI theme: “Building Bridges: Embracing Diversity, Connecting Communities,” and to celebrate Pride Month, two members from the Pride Employees Network and Allies share what embracing diversity means to them and how they connect with their communities.

Wade Wiley

My name is Wade, and I am a team lead for the Premium Finance team based in High River, AB. However, I work remotely from Sooke, B.C. I joined the Pride ERG as one of the original members and was a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Western from the beginning. As a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community who grew up in rural Alberta as a gay person in the 1980s, I know firsthand some of the challenges members of our community can face.

Putting a name and face to these challenges will help build bridges and connect communities. Often, folks who normally do not experience these challenges are profoundly impacted by the learned experience of someone they know who has and have the opportunity to become allies as a result of that bridge and connection.

Pride is all about embracing diversity and celebrating our individual human experiences, so I encourage everyone to celebrate with us during Pride month (and year-round).

Jesse Komula

My name is Jesse Komula. I am a member of the Pride Employees Network & Allies group and an insurance advisor at Western. I joined this group because Western’s commitment to inclusion initially attracted me to the company and aligned with my personal values. I believe in making clients of all backgrounds feel welcome to make the daunting insurance process as smooth as possible. I also enjoy spending my spare time reading fantasy novels and gardening with my dog and cat.

I recognize that embracing diversity is not just a slogan but a lived experience for many of us. Through our ERG, we strive to create a workplace environment where everyone feels valued, respected and included regardless of their identity. I believe that by fostering an inclusive workplace, we empower our employees to bring their whole selves to work and create a welcoming space for our diverse customer base. We’re building bridges within our company and fostering a sense of belonging that extends to our clients, who can see themselves represented and respected in our products and services.