AT ONE Gas, Inclusion & Diversity are key components of our core values and one that has driven the creation of Employee Resource Groups. Throughout 2022, these voluntary, employee-led groups based on shared characteristics, interests or life experiences, will be highlighted in a series called “Talent Talks”. With Talent Talks, members of our Employee Resource Groups will talk about what they’re reading, watching, and listening to while also covering what they think of ONE Gas as an employer that supports them on a professional and personal level.

Why did you want to work for ONE Gas, and how long have you worked with the company?

Chris Miner (24 years): I started as a temp with Kansas Gas Service 24 years ago and didn’t know a thing about the company. I just needed to pay rent and eat. The recruiter told me it was an oil company that needed accounting help. Not being an accountant, or very good at math, I said “sure.” More important than what attracted me is why I have stayed as long as I have. I’ve been blessed with some great managers along the way who have always given me the support to grow and learn.

Rae Hidalgo (3 years): I wanted to work in the company because having worked in a different utility, I had heard nothing but good things about working with ONE Gas.

Dece Bringham (3 years): I wanted to work for ONE Gas because I always heard what a great company it was.

What made you want to get involved with ONE PRIDE?

Chris: A personal core value of mine is equality. It may sound corny, but I really believe we’re all entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Sexual orientation is just a label we put on people. Underneath that label, we’re all dealing with the same issues and we’re all equally entitled to the same respect, love and understanding. Being a member and ally of ONE PRIDE is a small way to help others see that as well.

Rae: I love educating people on LGBTQIA+ topics, and I knew if I put my story out there about myself, then I would potentially be helping others by them seeing me live my truth openly.

Dece: I have a gay transgender son, and ONE PRIDE has been so supportive and welcoming. I grew up in a small town and wasn’t exposed to the LGBTQ+ community, so I’ve learned a lot from the organization as well as some outside resources. My son came out to me about 3-4 years ago, he’s now a thriving 16-year-old and I couldn’t be prouder of all the things he’s accomplished in his high school career. I was very naïve about what being transgender meant, and as a mother, I had to learn how to cope with the change. I’ve been so blessed with how accepting ONE Gas is as an organization — no judgment, only acceptance — and if I have questions, my ONE PRIDE family is welcoming to answer them.

What books/podcasts/movies/documentaries/articles would you recommend to someone that aligns with your Employee Resource Group’s mission?

Chris: These podcasts aren’t specifically aligned with LGBTQ+ issues, but they will help you broaden your mind and see things in new and different ways, which is kind of the point.

Hidden Brain hosted by Shankar Vedantum – This podcast deals with a wide array of topics around how our brain works. One thing I specifically like about it is that his guests are often authors promoting a new book, so if you find the topic interesting, you get a good book recommendation as well.

WorkLife with Adam Grant – Adam is an organizational psychologist with a knack for making complex topics very accessible. I recommend this one for professional development.

Up First – This is produced by NPR and is an easy way to stay up on world events. The podcasts come out daily and are usually less than 15 minutes long.

Rae: There are a ton of great books to look into. Some of them are Queering Your Therapy Practice by Julie Tilsen and Transgender History by Susan Stryker. Some other of my favorite fantasy books are Cemetery Boys and The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas.

Dece: The Dennis R. Neill Equality Center was a great resource as I was finding my way as a mother to a transgender child. I also found support with the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), SupportLinc. SupportLinc has been a great tool for me as a parent and provided counseling resources for him as he’s learned how to become his whole self.

What would you tell a job seeker about our company and what advice would you give them?

Chris: I would tell a job seeker that our culture is my favorite thing about the company. While it’s difficult to articulate a culture, our Core Values are real and more than just words we put in annual reports. My advice to any new hire is to respect their role. We don’t have any unimportant jobs at ONE Gas. If we didn’t need you, we wouldn’t have hired you. So now that you’re here, speak up and contribute. We need your help.

Rae: I would tell a job seeker that ONE Gas is a place that allows for one to be themselves completely and is willing to be part of the change to improve inclusion and diversity in the workforce. ONE Gas is committed to its Core Values and engages its employees on a daily basis, to make coming to work desirable.

Dece: ONE Gas provides such a welcoming environment to anyone regardless of who you are and/or who you want to be. Bring your whole self to work, you will be welcomed and treasured for being YOU!