Creating LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces
Diverse workplaces foster innovation, benefiting the workforce and company coffers alike. This has been proven time and time again with countless investigations into diverse workspaces and their innovative output. Unfortunately, tech companies by and large still lag behind in inclusive and diverse employment practices, and we think it’s time that changed.
Since last year, Signavians have been taking measures to foster a safe and welcoming working environment in which everyone can thrive, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. In order to take a more active stance on making this happen, we founded an inclusive LGBTQ+ focus group to help tackle inclusivity issues and pave the way for greater diversity at Signavio. Last year we marched with pride at Berlin’s Christopher Street Day celebrations, to show the world that we are one united, proud team. This year we will do the same, except we’re upping the ante a little.
Marching with pride
This year, on July 27, Signavio will be hosting a morning reception before the parade kicks off, so that Signavians can get together before joining the larger festivities. It is important to us that all employees feel celebrated and valued here.
Organizations in Berlin and across the world have become more and more involved with Pride festivities in recent years and this has, at times, been controversial. Questions are sometimes raised: “Why is it important for companies to publicly support the LGBTQ+ community?” “Why should companies take part in Pride festivities?” We think the answers are simple.
When an organization gathers their employees to march, they are showing everyone that their workplace is diverse and inclusive and welcoming. When companies come out as LGBTQ+ allies and stand strong in their commitment to diversity and inclusion, they provide a safe space for their employees to be their authentic selves. No one should have to hide an integral part of their identity—their sexual orientation or gender identity—in the workplace. The onus is on employers to create an environment for their employees where people feel not only “accepted without exception” but just as likely to be considered for promotion.
In 1996 less than 4% of Fortune 500 companies had policies in place that protected against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That number has now increased to over 93%. A lot can change in 20 years, and taking an active role in celebrating diversity will help to ensure more positive change in the future.
We believe that companies should use Pride as an opportunity to leverage the groundswell of support and awareness on LGBTQ+ issues across workforces, and encourage employees to keep their eyes open to experiences and conversations that may have previously been out of their scope of vision.
Maintaining momentum for diversity at Signavio
Of course, there are 11 other months in the year that aren’t officially Pride month, but where companies need to work actively to make sure their whole teams feel lifted up, supported and celebrated. Diversity at Signavio means taking measures to make sure this happens, from normalizing pronoun-sharing in email signatures to allocating dedicated Persons of Trust who deal specifically with LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace.
We want to empower individuals to shift the scales at work and to make ratios more balanced, to open hearts and minds and ensure employees feel supported, empowered and proud, no matter who they are.