Proud to Be Tiffany & Co.
In honor of Pride Month, we’re highlighting some uniquely inspiring LGBTQIA+ employees at Tiffany & Co.—the people that remind us of the importance of feeling proud, accepted and valued. Although we are unable to march in New York City Pride this year, we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community today and every day.
MICHAELA MALVASIO she/her/hers
Manager and Senior Producer, Global Advertising Production
Michaela joined Tiffany in 2013, before starting her gender transition journey. Over the years, she found the strength and courage to explore her true gender and began expressing herself in her own authentic way. “The full support I received both during my gender exploration phase through to my gender transition has been extremely profound,” she reflects on her experience at Tiffany. From the seamless change of her email address, work badge and desk nameplate to her preferred name, to allowing full access to any bathroom she felt most comfortable in, Michaela says she feels completely supported and embraced by the Tiffany community. “There is a common thread that links all of us in the LGBTQIA+ community regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status and that is an extremely powerful connection and a testament to what a community can be and mean,” she shares.
“I love not having to follow the rules. Being transgender is not an easy path in our very binary culture, but it has been so liberating to reject what hasn’t worked in my life and embrace the joy.”
A Strong Voice
JAYE THOMPSON he/him/his
Senior Director, Global PR and Strategic Development
“As a person that came out at the age of 16, it’s fascinating to see the [LGBTQIA+] community evolve over the decades,” says Jaye. “We were a community on the fringes of society and now we are a group that is intrinsically part of a broad cultural and societal conversation.” One of Jaye’s favorite memories was in 2014 when he married his husband David. Years ago, Jaye never dreamt that equal marriage would become a reality. “Looking around the room during our ceremony and seeing my family and my community celebrating our relationship was a testament to who we are and who we can be,” reflects Jaye. In early 2015, Jaye saw a Tiffany & Co. ad featuring a same-sex couple and immediately felt connected to the brand. A few months later, he joined the company.
“Tiffany has been supportive of me just by being itself—as a truly diverse, open and welcoming organization, I feel like I am in an environment where all voices, including my own, can be truly heard and listened to.”
“The LGBTQIA+ community that has flourished within Tiffany & Co. has created a space in which people from all walks of life can truly bring their full selves and creativity to their jobs.”
BECCA FRANS she/her/hers
Manager, Global Compensation
“At Tiffany, we celebrate milestones and I’ve been fortunate to share many of them with my colleagues over the past 15 years,” says Becca. She and her partner, Aimee, celebrated their five-year anniversary with Tiffany rings. “I still remember our experience at the New York flagship when we went to try on our rings,” says Becca. “We decided to forgo our plan to purchase the same ring and instead selected colored stone legacy rings that reflect our personalities.” Years later, they used the same rings for their commitment ceremony in Hawaii. Tiffany was the first luxury retailer to march in New York City Pride and Becca was honored to march with Aimee, their now five-year-old daughter Kaia and colleagues in both 2018 and 2019.
“It was clear to me early on that Tiffany was different. I was so happy to find a company with values that aligned so closely with my personal values.”
From left: Becca and her wife, Aimee, with their daughter Kaia
Moving Forward Together
KEVEN CALLAHAN he/him/his
Regional Manager, Creative Visual Merchandising
At the age of 10, Keven went shopping with his grandmother, Grace, at Tiffany’s New York flagship store and has had a very personal relationship to Tiffany & Co. ever since. This connection grew after he joined the Tiffany team in April 2017. An integral part of the Tiffany community, Keven leads the Washington, D.C. chapter of Tiffany’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group, an organization that provides employees with the opportunity to engage, learn and share ideas openly. “Two years ago, we didn’t have Employee Resource Groups. Now we do. We are all moving forward together,” he says. Keven also forged a Tiffany partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and OnePulse Foundation to support the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I never had to ‘come out’ as I was never ‘in.’ I’ve lived my entire life being ‘just me.’”
Since 2018, our commitment to inclusion has earned Tiffany & Co. a top score of 100% in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.
Dreams Become Reality
MICHAEL VANDERHEYDEN he/him/his
Sales Professional, New York Flagship Store
When Michael was a child, he dreamed of moving to New York City and getting a job at Tiffany & Co. Four days after graduating from college, he did just that and has been a sales professional at the New York flagship store since 1985. During his nearly 35 years at Tiffany, he has never felt that he needs to hide who he is. Michael says, “I am completely accepted by my peers and never judged by who I choose to date. We are family.”
“I feel that I am a respected and valued member of this organization and my personal life is just that—my personal life.”
A Unique Journey
CYNTHIA GONZALEZ she/her/hers
Director of Sales for Home & Accessories, New York Flagship Store
In 2016, Cynthia embarked on a new career, left Florida for New York City and, for the first time, was completely open about her sexuality. Cynthia’s personal journeys of growth and identity have accelerated since she joined Tiffany. “I began working at Tiffany at a pretty pivotal point in my life,” she says. “I was given the space to figure out who I was and how I wanted people to perceive me both in the workplace and in the world.” Cynthia went on to become the youngest store director at the company’s flagship store and is currently co-lead of the New York and New Jersey chapter of the LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group.
“I bring a diverse perspective to the table and not only is that perspective acknowledged, it’s sought out. To me, that’s the most incredible thing. This open-armed and open-minded approach to diversity and the LGBTQIA+ community is just one part of it.”
From left: Cynthia and her fiancée, Sam