Power of Representation: the 'Us'es'

June is recognized by many countries as Pride Month. To celebrate the occasion, four members of PIMCO’s employee resource groups (ERG) from around the world share their perspectives on the importance of inclusivity in the workplace and visible representation. These employee-led groups strive to foster a diverse and inclusive culture.

Ivan Anderson
SVP, Corporate Strategy Manager
PIMCO PRIDE and PIMCO Black Member, Newport Beach

What is visible representation? And why is it important?

Visible representation is the conscious choice to live out my authentic identity as a gay black man. It is the constant striving to be seen, heard, and understood.

Author Armistead Maupin once wrote, “The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.” To me, this quote summarizes the importance of visible representation in two ways. First, it allows people who are similar to find community and reduces the feeling of being an “outsider” or an “other” (I can’t understate the ways in which seeing openly LGBT people walking down the streets of New York City in my early twenties helped me with my coming out process). Second, it creates opportunities for allyship and collective action. Allies can’t advocate for issues they don’t know exist, and visible representation shines a light on needs that would otherwise go unseen and unchanged.