Celebrating Pride Month at Talend
By Michelle Sitzman
As our Chief of People at Talend, I have the unique opportunity to set the tone for our values as a community. Everyone here has a role in ensuring our company values of inclusivity, individuality, and authenticity are not just concepts, but truly woven into our culture.
Especially this month, as we recognize and celebrate Pride, I want take a look at what it means to support our LGBTQ+ community at Talend, as well as our other diverse communities. As a company spanning more than 16 countries, efforts to advance diversity, equality, inclusion, and belonging initially felt like a daunting goal – but together we’re determined to create a workplace that everyone at Talend can be proud of.
Creating a true sense of Pride at Talend
We had to start with feedback from all levels of the organization — especially the voices of marginalized groups company-wide. We’ve talked before about encouraging employees to bring their full, authentic selves to work. Opening up the floor for feedback puts our values into action - recognizing the power in individuality and what we can each uniquely bring to the table.
We started collecting feedback from multiple sources, including a global inclusion survey and participating in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. Asking our employees for feedback that’s confidential, taken seriously, and acted upon fosters that relationship of trust we’re looking for. As a result, our employees trust that their feedback is taken seriously and put into action. This has been so critical to creating an engaged community and not just encouraging, but leading a sense of belonging and safety for everyone.
Inclusivity is always a work in progress for any organization. We aren’t looking to check a box or “finish” it – we realize it’s a journey and our goal is to make meaningful progress in reasonable time.
Inclusivity in action
Getting feedback is a start – but without acting in a way that’s consistent with those policies, we aren’t really building that sense of trust and community. Our entire team at Talend is constantly bringing new initiatives to life - our new Remote-First policy ensures employees can feel present at work while they’re given flexibility. This remote culture also allows us to reach employees across so many more diverse populations.
To us, taking action on inclusion also means analyzing and working to eliminate gender pay gaps, and working with teams to help eliminate biases in hiring. We have upcoming empathy training for managers, learning paths for all employees around psychological safety and unconscious bias. In particular, Talend has set up global LGBTQ+ inclusivity trainings for all employees.
We envision leaders tapping into these resources for even more individualized team training throughout the year. My mission is to make Talend the community we want to see in the world – and we're just at the beginning of our journey.
How can you support the LGBTQ+ community?
Research the history of sexual and gender diversity around the globe
Sexual and gender diversity have always existed — they're part of the human condition. But that doesn't mean that they are in any way static or consistently understood across all populations. Civilizations, societies, and cultures influence the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. Take action by researching the history of sexuality and gender within your country and how it has been influenced by societal suppression or acceptance. Here’s some great links to start:
Learn about sexual and gender identity
Sexuality and gender identities exist upon a fluid spectrum, made up of the varied components of our experiences, biological factors, cultural influences, and so forth. Take time to learn the multitude of terms and acronyms used when referencing members and matters of the LGBTQ+ community.
Consider adding your pronouns to email signatures, Zoom, and other company profiles
Our pronouns are important to how we interact with others and a fact about our identities that we carry in all aspects of our lives, including the workplace. At Talend, we strive to be a safe place for individuals to comfortably convey their gender identity, as well as a community that collectively aims to prevent the misgendering of others.
Give back, financially or with your time
Non-profit organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community need the help of allies. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find some opportunities to volunteer your time to help out the LGBTQ+ community or bolster related initiatives with donations. For example, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center supports the health and wellness of the most marginalized in the community through advocation, education, and mentorship. In addition to the non-profit organizations mentioned in this blog, here are some other options to get you started:
- The Trevor Project
- The Human Rights Campaign
- OutRight International
- ILGA - Europe
- The Humsafar Trust
Practice active allyship
Active allyship means you won’t stand by passively. Taking responsibility for our own behavior, interrupting microaggressions, making space for folks from marginalized communities, and using our platforms for good are some ways we can practice active allyship.
We all have a role to play in building an inclusive workplace and society. Let’s make sure we all do our part to get educated, take action, get involved, and raise awareness.