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Celebrating Pride at TEECOM

Mara Hasenstaub

Our TEEm members live by our core values of respect, selflessness, and vulnerability each and every day, both at work and in their personal lives. It’s only natural that those values show up when supporting our LGBTQ+ peers, clients, and colleagues.

This month members of our TEEm have taken time to reflect on what Pride means to them and why it is important in building a safer and more inclusive future for all.

What does pride mean to you?

“Pride means the freedom to be who you truly are (your true self) without judgment or fear.” – Rebecca Jew, CPP, Associate Principal


“Pride to me, means having a safe and inclusive celebration of queer folks past and present. It means joy and love.” – Anonymous TEEm Member


“To me, pride means living joyfully as your truest self and giving recognition to all it took to get you where you are today.” – Mara Hasenstaub, Senior Marketing & Brand Specialist


“Pride means being your true authentic self without fear, shame, or judgment and being met with love, support, and understanding. It’s about celebrating who you are and loving yourself.” – Christina de la Cruz, Associate

What does pride look like to you?

“In the world, pride to me looks like parades and gatherings. It means watching queer films and engaging in conversation with others about queer issues. At work, pride to me looks like acknowledgment and even a little learning or celebration of queer folks in the community.” – Anonymous TEEm Member


“When I started participating in Pride San Francisco in the early 1980s, it was one of the few opportunities for the greater community to ‘let loose’ by celebrating their true selves openly. Throughout the years, it evolved and became truly diversified – generations of families supporting and celebrating their loved ones became more prevalent. Common bonds with other marginalized communities were formed. And the greater community began to realize that diversity brought depth and richness to society. Where Pride is encouraged and flourishes, it looks like a robust, vibrant, and culturally rich community.” – Rebecca Jew, CPP, Associate Principal


One of Rebecca’s shirts from a Pride San Francisco event

“Pride looks like a world where all queer people are able to live safely and without fear, especially trans and non-binary individuals. It looks like schools that encourage advocacy and support for students, it looks like sports where people can play on the teams that they deserve to be on.” – Mara Hasenstaub, Senior Marketing & Brand Specialist

Why is pride in the workplace, specifically in the tech/AEC industry, important?

“Though the tech industry is experiencing tremendous growth – it is still heavily dominated by white cis-gendered men. When people, especially students, are looking for potential employment – they are hoping to see people who look like them on a website or social media page. Queer visibility in the tech/AEC industry is imperative so that we can inspire future generations of engineers, designers, and professionals to follow their dreams and not be held back because they think they won’t fit into our industry.” – Mara Hasenstaub, Senior Marketing & Brand Specialist


“The tech/AEC community thrives when creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are allowed flourish. If members of our community are stifled by judgment and fear, our ability to solve problems and plan becomes limited.” – Rebecca Jew, CPP, Associate Principal


“Celebrating Pride in the workplace helps create a better work culture for all team members. It’s an opportunity to create a safe place, educate and share different perspectives, ensure everyone feels included, and showcase the diversity of the team. The more connected you are with your team, the more you enjoy your work.” – Christina de la Cruz, Associate

What makes you proud to be who you are?

“My family and friends make me the proudest of who I am because I would not be me without them. Community and the support that offers a person are immeasurable when you are queer – it is the difference between life and death for many. Radical acceptance of self has also helped a lot!” – Anonymous TEEm Member

Why does pride matter in your own community or family?

“My kiddo is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In our family, pride means helping her understand we are proud of her and she should be proud of herself.” Anonymous TEEm Member

Why pride matters to Adam Wrzeski, CPP, Principal Consultant

“Pride is extremely important in our family as our closest friends and family members are in the LGBTQ+ community. Because of this, our children, Aidan and Ariana, are fortunate to have aunties and uncles to love and support them, but also to teach them to be authentic and true to themselves. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are also blessed to be surrounded by this amazing and proud community – my hope is that one day the entire country will embrace just how wonderful this community is.” – Nicole La, CPSM, Principal, Executive Vice President

Baby Ari’s first Pride Month

“It matters to my community because without pride, there is erasure. Because our society is skewed so heavily toward cis-gendered and heteronormative ideologies that queer folks are often left out of the conversation. By being present and making a point to celebrate pride, we are taking up space and normalizing that queer folks matter now, have always mattered, and are not going away.” – Anonymous TEEm Member


“I grew up in a small suburb where there was no queer community to speak of. Because of this, I didn’t come out until I was in my first year of college and felt like I was in a safe enough space to do so. Pride is important to me because I do not want young people to have the same experience that I did.” – Mara Hasenstaub, Senior Marketing & Brand Specialist


Mara at a Pride event in Richmond, VA

“I am an LGBTQ+ ally. I have many friends and relatives who identify as LGBTQ+ and it breaks my heart when they are judged by others – they are some of the kindest and most caring people I know and they are just as deserving of love, respect, and kindness as anyone else. While I have certain privileges being in a heteronormative relationship, I have experienced my own struggles as a woman of color and I can empathize with certain feelings. In our home, we teach our kids that ‘love is love’. Being an ally is an ongoing process – we are committed to staying open to learning and growing.” Christina de la Cruz, Associate

Celebrating Pride Every Day

Creating and fostering a space where all of our TEEm members are free to be their most authentic selves is one of our top priorities. We stand by our LGBTQ+ employees and are proud to celebrate them not just in June, but every day.

At TEECOM we are committed to creating a safe and equitable workplace – if you are interested in joining our TEEm, apply today.

Mara Hasenstaub
Mara Hasenstaub, Senior Marketing & Brand Specialist

Mara is a 'Jill of All Trades' when it comes to marketing. From digital design to social media to brand strategy, there is nothing she loves more than bringing all of the pieces of the puzzle together to better serve an end-user.