Pride Month: ERG Employee Stories, Purpose, Action, and Community
Pride is celebrated in June to pay tribute to those who led the Stonewall Riots in June of 1969 in New York. The year after, the first pride parades were held across the US. Pride month is a way for the community and its allies to commemorate those who fought for equal human rights for the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate the various identities and experiences that exist within the community.
OUT@RF is Recorded Future’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group. OUT@RF strives to empower and promote visibility of LGBTQ+ employees at Recorded Future. The group cultivates networks and communities in the company and the technology and cyber industry. They connect members and build a foundation of LGBTQ+ members in the tech industry.
Covering the Basics
In honor of Pride Month, we interviewed two of OUT@RF’s co-chairs: Ryan Boyero and Alexis Duffey.
Ryan has been an Intelligence Services Consultant at Recorded Future for almost a year. Born in Alexandria, VA and raised in Charleston, SC he is now based out of St Louis, MO where he moved five years ago for his military career. He describes his role as being “the sound and reason and technical source of truth for our clients and partners”. He works to ensure satisfaction, answers and solves technically-led questions, and develops and enriches relationships.
Through his military career, Ryan was first a Recorded Future user before he joined the company as an employee. As an Intelligence Specialist Active Duty Marine he was introduced to the art of Cybersecurity.
Ryan: “During my tenure with the unit I was introduced to Recorded Future and was tasked with deriving our intelligence and obtaining information from the platform. It was then that I realized that there was a professional blend of intelligence and cybersecurity professionals that shared the same passion as my own.”
Alexis is also an Intelligence Consultant within our Intelligence Services. They have been at Recorded Future for over a year and work from Michigan. Alexis identifies as genderqueer and uses they/them and sometimes she/her pronouns. They started their cybersecurity career as an Intelligence Analyst at the Department of Defense before working as an Information Security Officer at a small tech company prior to joining Recorded Future. Most importantly, they are the proud parent to two adorable cats.
Alexis: “My role is to ensure that clients have the knowledge, tools, and support they need to not only maximize the value they receive from our platform, but to mature their intelligence program in the process. Each client is different, which means every day usually brings something new”
What It’s Like Working at Recorded Future For You
“Talent is never undermined.”
Ryan: “Recorded Future is an incredible opportunity and team to join simply due to the wide-level of talent across the globe. The organization is growing and invests in personnel who seek to better themselves and grow within a thriving company. Whether the passion is speaking with partners and clients on a daily basis, working behind the scenes on our intelligence platform, developing the training criteria, or planning marketing and sales events, there is a special place here for everyone.”
“I chose cybersecurity because it made me feel like I was contributing to the greater good.”
Alexis: “Working at Recorded Future has taken that one step further: I still get to work directly with my clients to help support them in their immediate battles against cyber threats, while we as a company are supporting global causes like the War in Ukraine and highlighting malicious Nation-State campaigns.”
“The culture at Recorded Future is what drove me to apply for the organization in the first place.”
Ryan: “As a proud out man it was important for me to secure a position with a company that not only respected professional boundaries for protection and acceptance of who I was and what I stood for, but also welcomed people like myself with open arms.”
“I have been blown away by how supportive my management has been around my work as an ERG co-chair”
Alexis: “It’s not a case of simply being “allowed” to dedicate time for ERG responsibilities, they have fully encouraged it, ask about it during our 1:1’s, and have even advocated to their management for additional resources where possible. It feels great to know that I’ve got that upper-level support not just around my official Consultant role but extending into all aspects of my work at Recorded Future.”
“Recorded Future is much more than an accepting community, it’s a home”
Ryan: “For the longest time I was afraid to be who I am because I was always taught by my leaders, peers, and loved ones that there was something wrong with me. But it’s that defining experience that makes me and others shine so bright in our everyday lives and professional roles. Recorded Future understands that.”
Celebrating Pride Month
_ “Simply living proudly as an LGBTQIA+ person is a huge accomplishment.“_
Recorded Future's Out@RF leadership has organized a range of educational and celebratory activities for Pride Month. The month kicked off with a fireside chat and Q&A session on the theme of equal dignity for all and the LGBTQIA+ journey towards recognition and respect.
Alexis: “Whether it’s bringing in speakers to educate our colleagues on LGBTQIA+ issues, bringing folks in our community together through buddy programs, or even just giving visibility, I want to continue to provide a safe space for our queer community members at the company.”
“We are pushing to spread the celebration of Pride globally”
Various offices worldwide, including London, Gothenburg, Singapore, and DC, will host happy hours or celebrations. The largest celebration will take place in Boston, where OUT@RF Futurists, allies, and families will participate in the Boston Pride For The People parade on June 10th. Remote employees can engage in LGBTQ+ themed online games that provide meal donations for homeless youth.
“Pride with Purpose”
As a call to action, the ERG has also compiled a list of suggested activities to foster inclusivity and compassion, such as supporting queer owned businesses, adding pronouns to signatures, attending company events, volunteering for LGBTQIA+ focused non-profits, and more.
Ryan: “We want to spread the importance of Pride with Purpose and ensure our message is received and understood. It’s important to ensure diversity, inclusion, acceptance, love, and camaraderie are the main focal points of any company or organization. Representation matters and when we speak out against negativity and misalignment or discuss openly we pave the way for others to join the team and be themselves.”
Why Get Involved in OUT / ERGs
“I’m not just a me, I’m part of a we”
Ryan: “I wanted to belong to something bigger and better than just myself. In the Marine Corps I led a team of roughly 30-40 people and there was no greater sense of accomplishment than striving to achieve excellence and acceptance together. That same mindset applies to Recorded Future and the ERG I so proudly represent.”
“I wanted to help our ERG grow to match our organization’s growth.”
Alexis: “There’s still a lot of confusion and stigma around non-binary gender identities in the world at large and it can get exhausting, so I was happy to find a safe space in the form of our Out@RF ERG when I first joined the company.”
“I also wanted to show folks that you can thrive and be different from societal normalcy.”
Ryan: “I’m here to represent and speak for those who cannot. I want to remind each and every one of you that we’re a community and family that relies and leans on one another to continue forward in this world. Our work matters and we will continue to pursue diversity in leadership within this industry as well as acceptance and belonging throughout our organization.”
We’re grateful to hear and witness the inspiring stories and insights of our OUT@RF ERG leads. By joining employee communities, individuals become part of a larger movement that promotes diversity, acceptance, and belonging and help pave the way for meaningful impact. If this resonates with you, we encourage you to explore the job opportunities at Recorded Future. If you’re curious to learn more about our ERGs you can read through our previous blog for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and APIDA Heritage Month.