Pride at Pythian
At Pythian, one of our core values is We Respect. Because we are a team of over 450 employees based in 28 countries and over 30 languages spoken, embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is critical to us in bringing this value to life. As June is Pride Month, we wanted not just to celebrate but also take the time to assess how we are supporting our LGBTQ+ team members, what we can do to be better allies, and actionable ways we can continue to create a more inclusive environment—all year long.
Our DEI Strategy
To help create our strategy, we needed to better understand the social identities that made up our people and how team members experience Pythian. Following the data, we created an approach to support our LGBTQ+ team members.
Making a Commitment to Our People
As our values are what we live by, we thought it was important to start by making a commitment to our team through a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy which we launched on Day 1 as part of our Pride Month celebrations. Our policy is focused on removing barriers in recruitment, advancement, and retention for underrepresented groups, preventing discrimination, providing a safe space where all team members can express themselves, increasing our cultural awareness, and providing equal opportunities for all.
As part of the assessment of our programs, we reviewed all our benefits plans and found one of the region’s benefits did not provide this as a part of the standard coverage. While we are in the mid-plan year, we requested a change to be made immediately, and now all our regions’ benefits plans have LGBTQ+ partner coverage. In addition, we extended the time off for our adoption leave for the primary caregiver to better support our team members in growing their families.
We wanted to give back to the community by organizing a fundraising initiative for Rainbow Railroad—an amazing, global not-for-profit organization that helps LGBTQ+ people escape persecution and violence.
As mentioned on their website, “there are currently 80 million displaced people around the world—the highest number since the end of the Second World War. Over half of these individuals are internally displaced, and of these people, LGBTQI+ internally displaced persons are uniquely vulnerable.”
Our fundraising campaign involved a virtual pride parade where our team members could post messages of allyship and support. For every team member who participated, Pythian would give a $5 donation. In addition, team members could also provide a personal donation if they wish. We’re excited to announce we have reached and exceeded our $500 fundraising goal! We would like to thank everyone for their contributions to this great cause.
Being Better Allies
Another value at Pythian is to continuously learn and share our knowledge. So, we challenged the team to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. This meant sharing resources on defining LGBTQ+, the history of Pride Month, why gender pronouns matter, and how we can be better allies in the workplace. We encourage you as well to take some time to learn more! Here’s how Pythianite Blanca Waterman serves as an ally:
“As an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, I wear this pin whenever I go out. Because way too many beautiful souls have been disowned by their family. And I will happily give any one of them a “Mom” hug.”
– Blanca Waterman
Continuing to Foster an Inclusive Culture
Following Pride Month, we are launching unconscious bias training for all Pythianites to attend by September 30, 2022. Unconscious biases result from mental shortcuts we make to process the millions of bits of information we receive at any given moment. We felt this was an important component of continuing to foster an inclusive culture beyond the month of June. Our training will walk through unconscious bias, how it impacts the workplace, how we can recognize and manage our biases, and how we can be allies.
Equality for All
“Around one-third of LGBT employees report leaving a job (34.2%) or looking for other jobs (33.9%) because the work environment did not accept LGBT people.”
Sears, B., Mallory, C., Flores, A. R., & Conron, K. J. (2021). LGBT people’s experiences of workplace discrimination and harassment. The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
There’s still work for all of us to do, during and after Pride Month. Whether you’re an employee, manager, or executive team member, we encourage everyone to ask, ‘ how can we continuously create a more inclusive workplace all year round?’ After all, when everyone feels like they belong, magical things happen!