A Chubb happy hour changed how Michelle Lawson understood what it means to be an ally to her LGBTQ colleagues.
“A good friend of mine invited me,” Lawson remembers. “I realized that my LGBTQ+ colleagues welcomed – and needed – allies in the Chubb Pride group. I also realized that my beliefs aligned with their mission, and that I could help make a difference.”
That realization led Lawson to take a leadership position in Chubb Pride, one of the company’s employee-led Business Roundtables (BRT). Through education, advocacy, and the support of allies, Chubb Pride engages the talents and contributions of LGBTQ employees.
Lawson joined the company as an intern and now serves as Assistant Vice President, Midwest Region Underwriting Manager, Chubb Environmental and Business Chair for the North American branch of Chubb Pride.
Lawson describes a “fairly sheltered” upbringing. “It took moving to Chicago for me to really begin to understand the depths of social inequity and the injustices that marginalized people faced,” she says. “I did a lot of reflecting, a lot of reading, and a lot of listening to others.”
After that first happy hour, Lawson started attending local Chubb Pride meetings, got involved with fundraising, and helped plan and run events. She also took on a leadership role in Chicago before being asked to join the Chubb Pride leadership team.
In 2020, Chubb was named one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign – and has consistently received a 100% score every year it has participated since 2004.
“I’m a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and have been a co-chair of the Chubb Pride Canada committee for over three years,” said Sabrina Mariani, Assistant Vice President, Assistant Product Manager, Private/Not-for-Profit – Financial Lines. “I joined the Pride team because I believe that everyone deserves equality and the ability to be themselves.”
Mariani’s co-chair, Andrea Phillips, Senior Vice President, Canadian Controller, said she joined Chubb Pride when “I realized that I could make an impact and help to influence change instead of just standing by and waiting for change to come to me. As a Regional Connector, I can help to lead change that helps to grow diversity and inclusion. It’s really fulfilling work for me in addition to my ‘day job.’”
Mariani and Phillips take an active role in promoting the visibility of Chubb Pride and its mission. As “regional connectors” they host events that bring members and allies together at the local level throughout the North American regional and branch network.
For Lawson, the simplest way for leaders to support BRTs and Chubb Pride is through their buy-in, support and attendance.
“Your attendance at events is a great way to show support, and it also shows your employees that you are a safe space,” Lawson said. “Promote the events and encourage your teams to participate and get involved! Let them know it’s okay to carve out the necessary time to do so. And be an ally; stand up to and correct bad behavior or language when you see or hear it happening.”
The team’s goals for the future of Chubb Pride?
“I hope to see a continued focus on driving awareness and education with respect to diversity and inclusion,” Mariani said. “I want to help make Chubb an even better place to work.”