21 Companies Showing Support for the LGBTQ+ Community Every Day
While tremendous strides have been made in the past few decades, there is still sadly a long way to go when it comes to achieving equality and liberation for the LGBTQ+ community. As of 2018, only 20 states in the U.S. have explicit laws set in place that protect employees from hiring and workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The tech industry is generally considered to be progressive, but even in tech hubs like Silicon Valley, many people fall through the cracks due to lack of resources, poor protections, and often, ignorance.
When it comes to creating an inclusive workplace, there can be no half measures. Many companies have come under fire for perpetuating “pinkwashing,” a term used to describe when companies utilize Pride aesthetics for marketing purposes rather than making tangible commitments toward pursuing LGBTQ+ equality. In worst case scenarios, companies without true commitments to empowering those communities may adopt rainbow flag imagery during Pride Month, all while channeling funds toward political or economic organizations that pose a direct threat to LGBTQ+ people.
On the bright side, there are also many companies in the tech industry who walk the walk when it comes to securing justice for all. Rather than speaking up about LGBTQ+ issues only when it is advantageous to them, these companies have taken real steps to ensure that people of all sexualities and gender expressions are celebrated and empowered all year round.
In a Bloomberg hosted panel for the Bay Area's LGBT tech community, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis noted the need to continue tackling inequality, saying "We’re chartering new territory in policy, but we need to talk about closing the gap between policy and ‘full acceptance’”. The tech industry has a reputation for being forward thinking and liberal, but there are still many places in the world where being LGBTQ is not accepted, or worse, is considered a crime. While companies in Silicon Valley and beyond are taking necessary steps to welcome more LGBTQ+ techies into the fold, panelist and Facebook diversity manager Kiva Wilson noted the tech industries responsibility to their greater community, stating “we need to step outside Silicon Valley and realize there’s a much bigger world”.
If Silicon Valley companies take the right steps toward achieving equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, they can set an example for the rest of the world to follow suit. These 21 tech companies support the LGBTQ+ community consistently, taking concrete steps to fight for justice and equality well beyond Pride Month.
Companies That Support The LGBTQ+ Community
- Quick Base
- Sprout Social
Kazoo's HR and culture team collaborated on building a 2020 Pride Month calendar so that employees could celebrate even while working remotely. In a company news release, Kazoo outlined the history of the Stonewall Uprising and the importance of celebrating Pride today, as well as highlighting practical steps companies can take to ensure their LGBTQ+ employees feel welcome and safe.
One of Planoly's various products is StoriesEdit, a tool that simplifies content design for distribution on social media channels. This year, Planoly has chosen to make their StoriesEdit Pride Collection available all year to help promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity and allyship, and to help encourage LGBTQ+ tech professionals to share their stories.
QuestionPro released a guide on how to write gender-inclusive gender questionnaires, with information about the significance of gender inclusivity in conducting population surveys. Their guide also includes important facts about transgender identity and the many different ways someone can self-identify in terms of gender.
Boston-based edX celebrated Pride Month this year by giving the members of their LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group the opportunity to answer questions and share their experiences with gender identity, coming out, working towards collective liberation and the power of community.
5. QUICK BASE
In an effort to help their industry peers step up their diversity and inclusion efforts, Quick Base's team put together a comprehensive guide for how technology can be implemented to undo bias and make workplaces more accepting. Some of the technologies they compiled cover a range of capabilities, from compensation inequality identification to demographics analysis for job applicants.
Workhuman maintains a strong focus on diversity and inclusion efforts for their LGBTQ+ employees and community. The company publishes a number of insights and updates on how their team leaders are working to undo unconscious bias by attending conferences, holding space for people to share their experiences, and instituting concrete policies that protect their more vulnerable employees.
During Pride Month, Drift's leadership team celebrates by highlighting the ways LGBTQ+ trailblazers have impacted the world of sales and marketing, as well as honoring the ways past leaders like Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights.
Throughout the month of June, Smartbear released a series of blog posts centered on their LGBTQ+ leaders and team members, conducting interviews about what Pride means to them, and what it means to live authentically as a part of the tech world. By providing the opportunity to share their experiences and what they'd like to see companies do for their marginalized teammates, it helps the company improve and gives industry peers standards for inclusivity.
9. SPROUT SOCIAL
Sprout Social places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, centering inclusivity as an integral part of their company culture and hiring efforts. Everyone in the company is expected to play a role in encouraging acceptance through the DEI committee. Additionally, the Sprout Social leadership team aims to promote full visibility into their efforts by publicly releasing DEI reports and specific initiatives such as bias training, community engagement, and a variety of special resource groups.
Recently, during Pride, closerlook hosted a Pride event during which team members shared personal stories about their experiences. The company also spread awareness about the LGBTQ+ community through media content and information about ally organizations.
Bounteous' leadership team created a company taskforce to address diversity and inclusion in the office and beyond, through which they host events and embark on initiatives to create a stronger and more accepting work environment for all. Additionally, the company has set up a number of resource groups, community discussion spaces and mentorship opportunities for their LGBTQ+ employees, POC employees, employees with disabilities and others who need extra support.
RXBAR began a collaboration with The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) to release a protein bar pack in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, with all proceeds going toward NCTE's community activism and empowerment initiatives.
In an effort to help build empathy and understanding for the experiences of their LGBTQ+ team members, Nylas' diversity and inclusion team compiled coming out stories from several of their employees. The team also included additional information about the importance of positive identity affirmation and the burden of being expected to represent such a diverse community.
Given that supporting mental health is their main focus, Sondermind aims to provide services that are inclusive and empowering for LGBTQ+ patients seeking emotional support. The company published a comprehensive pillar page on sexuality, gender and mental health for professional use. The page includes statistics on mental illness and suicide rates among members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as guides on inclusive language to use when treating patients on a spectrum of sexuality and gender expressions.
Flowhub celebrated Pride and the radical activism of people like Marsha P. Johnson by creating an instagram campaign named "Change Takes All Colors," where their team posted resources and educational materials on LGBTQ+ issues for the entire month of June.
16. ALTO PHARMACY
This past year, Duda's leadership team put together a press release outlining ways to celebrate pride while social distancing, compiling a list of safe virtual and car events near their offices which people could attend. They also announced a program to match up to $200 in annual employee donations to organizations like the Matthew Shepard Foundation, True Colors United, the Transgender Law Center and other organizations.
Neustar has made a commitment to scouting and retaining a diverse, talented workforce, and in a press release clarified the steps they're taking to ensure they meet that goal. The company is connected with DiversityWorking, an online job board designed to make it easier for the LGBTQ+ community and other minorities to find jobs in their field. They also work with other organizations in the area, including Women in technology and YearUp, to provide more opportunities for women, lower income youth, POC and persons with disabilities in the tech sphere.
19. BOINGO WIRELESS
Boingo partners with the Center for Excellence in Engineering and Diversity (CEED) to host a number of workshops and events designed to help students from underrepresented backgrounds gain tech skills necessary to pursue their fields of interest. Boingo Wireless' CMO Dawn Callahan has been featured as a tech leader of note by Lesbians Who Tech, an organization devoted to showcasing queer women who shine in their fields.
Grindr offers a platform for members of the gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer communities to explore dating options and connect with fellow users in their area. The company has committed to the mission of ensuring that both their workplace and the world beyond are safe and empowering for all sexual and gender identities. Under the moniker, G4E they pursue demographics research and social justice initiatives targeted toward ensuring social justice for the greater LGBTQ+ community.
Gympass's content team has written a collection of articles and guides on how to make gyms and exercise spaces safer and more accepting for LGBTQ+ customers. Their content includes listicles of LGBTQ+ inclusive athletic spaces, spotlights on the diversity and inclusion efforts of specific gyms, and employee benefits ideas designed to support team members in the LGBTQ+ community.