5 questions with Mark Quigley
Mark Quigley is a project manager in the communication services department at Texas Instruments. Quigley is also social chair for the company’s LGBT employee group, and he coordinates the group’s monthly High Tech Happy Hour. For info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How and when was Texas Instruments’ LGBT employee group started? ?
We began as an informal group of LGBT employees in 1993, becoming an officially sanctioned TI Diversity Initiative in 1996. We recently changed our name to TI Pride Network to better describe our group, and to recognize our many straight allies.
What are some of the group’s biggest accomplishments?
Our group actively works with many community agencies, including AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, LifeWalk, Out & Equal DFW and Youth First Texas. Texas Instruments has been incredibly supportive of our community outreach efforts. In addition, many folks know us from our monthly High Tech Happy Hour.
How and when did High Tech Happy Hour get started?
In 1994 we got together with other area high-tech employees to initiate an informal LGBT happy hour. Our goal was to offer a safe, no-pressure space where folks could network. At the time, e-mail was relatively new, but TI had the ability to gather, host and broadcast e-mail, so we became the “keeper of the list.” The High Tech Happy Hour has grown exponentially, and we believe ours is the longest continuously running happy hour in the area.
What can people expect if they come to High-Tech Happy Hour? It’s not just a bunch of dorky guys talking about microchips, is it?
Not at all! And we’re just not guys! Although many of our attendees are from technology companies, I’d say more than half come from other career areas from banking to accounting to real estate. We pride ourselves in welcoming everyone. We typically have anywhere from 50-100 attendees, and we move our locales often from Oak Cliff to Plano to Deep Ellum and of course, Cedar Springs.
What would be your advice for LGBT people who work for companies that aren’t necessarily supportive?
In addition to hosting the High Tech Happy Hour, I’m a member of the Out and Equal DFW affiliate. Our mission is to share best practices about LGBT workplace issues. We’re a good resource for folks interested in forming their own employee resource group, or for those who just need advice. The Web site is www.outandequal.org.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 21, 2007.