Life at ZS

Life at ZS

Why Being an Active Ally Is Important to Evanston Principal Kelly

Posted by ZS on Jun 11, 2019 1:48:49 PM

Throughout my 19-year career with ZS, I’ve worked in the Evanston Kelly_Tousi_headshotoffice and have been focused on the med tech industry. I’ve held a variety of roles over the years, and at the core of each role is my passion for the people of our firm. I led the Evanston office for several years, acted as the client service lead for a large med tech client and currently serve on our Management Advisory Committee, just to name a few. When I reflect on my career, two accomplishments I’m particularly proud of are leading the formation of our Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and serving on the advisory board for Pride@ZS, our inclusive LGBTQ and ally community.

After establishing the WLI and seeing the positive impact we made for the women of ZS, I got involved with Pride@ZS because I believe it’s important for LGBTQ ZSers to receive visible support from senior leaders who are allies. Pride@ZS has helped me understand how I can be a better ally. I know there are many LGBTQ individuals who may not be out at work, so I do everything I can to be a visible and active ally. The more people see a welcoming LGBTQ and ally community at our firm, the more I hope they will feel included, accepted and appreciated just the way they are. 

What’s your favorite Pride@ZS memory? 

I’ve really enjoyed participating in the Proud to Run event that ZS sponsors in Chicago. Though I don’t run, I got a chance to walk and connect with a group of ZSers that I don’t often have enough time with.

What one piece of advice would you offer to LGBTQ individuals considering employment at ZS?

Talk to us and ask a lot of questions. I remember giving this advice to someone at a recruiting event and connected him to one of the people in Pride@ZS. He later sent me a note thanking me and letting me know how helpful that conversation was to him.

How does ZS’s attitude toward diversity and inclusion compare to other places?

I haven’t worked for another company in a long time, but I would say that the biggest difference is that it may feel like you can’t be open about your sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace at other companies. But at ZS, it’s not like that at all. Our firm’s culture and values emphasize inclusion and supporting every individual ZSer.

What’s your life like outside of work?

My husband and I have three kids who are all grown up and out of the house now. I come from a large family (one of five girls!) and our family is very close. For years, our social life revolved around our kids’ activities. As each child has moved out, we’ve reconnected with old high school and college friends and love to travel with them. I’ve also had extra time to invest in hobbies that have always interested me, and two of them have become big passions for me – SCUBA and ceramics. My aspirations now are focused on giving back – to the firm, to the people at ZS and to my community, family and friends. I have received so much and now look forward to sharing more.

Topics: Life at ZS, ZS in Evanston, Pride@ZS

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