When I started my career, it was the early 90's and I was told by several friends and family when I was looking for jobs, to hide who I was and don't tell anyone I was gay. When I was hired by AAA, I quickly discovered I was in an environment where I could bring authentic self to work, everyday. At AAA, I learned about Employee Resource Groups and joined the Diversity Council.
As a member of the Council, I had the opportunity to attend the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) annual conference in Austin, TX. There, I was inspired by many LGBTQ professionals who had received college degrees to further themselves both personally and professionally. Not only was AAA supportive about my sexual orientation, AAA also supported my desire to get a college degree. We have an amazing tuition reimbursement program that allowed me to work and graduate college ... and with honors, thanks to our work/life balance structure!
Diversity for me means, to never stop learning from others different than you. When a culmination of people merge together, we can leverage the power of many minds to learn and grow.