Intuit®: Official Blog > IntuitLife > People & Culture > Creating a company culture where no one needs to hide

Creating a company culture where no one needs to hide

People & Culture, Uncategorized A screen grab of two professionals with pink and blue artwork behind them.

If you knew a small shift in your behavior could help another person, would you be willing to try? 

For example, what if there were a few small adjustments that would make it easier for a colleague or friend to come out as gay or transgender? 

Good news—there are!

One of the simplest steps you can take is to include your pronouns in your email signature, on your internal messenger service, and in your video meeting name tag. You can do this even if you are cisgender (that is, you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth).

You might also look at the words you use in everyday situations. For example, how many of us have used the word “guys” when addressing mixed-gender groups, in meetings or email introductions? Try using gender-neutral words instead—such as “folks,” “team,” or “y’all.”

It may seem insignificant, but these small changes can help people who are trans or non-binary feel safe around you. 

Earlier this year, on International Transgender Day of Visibility, we kicked off our third annual Trans Summit with a LinkedIn Live broadcast. Led by Niall O’Rourke, VP of Talent Acquisition, and TransAdvisory Board Member Jessica Darke, their conversation inspired the following takeaways on how to create a company culture rooted in allyship. 

Watch the full conversation here.

Steps in the workplace

Aside from small, personal actions, there are steps you can take within your workplace or other organization toward becoming a better ally to the trans+ and non-binary community. 

Regardless of your role in the company, when you advocate for gender-neutral bathrooms and inclusive hiring practices, you create a safer place for people who are trans or non-binary. Take the time and the initiative to educate yourself about the trans+ and non-binary community rather than asking a member of the community to do it for you.

From the establishment of a Transgender Advisor Group, Pride employee resource group or even an ally program can help give LGBTQ+ voices a seat at the table. Programs like these can also help build tangible ways for others in your organization to learn and grow so that they can take part in meaningful actions to support the community. 

We’re proud of the job we’ve done developing allyship and getting support from top leaders. We were the first tech company to host a Transgender Summit, now in its third year. It was an honor to have our CEO Sasan Goodarzi open the inaugural event, further supporting our company’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, especially for the LGBTQ+ community.

Allyship as culture

An ideal outcome is to create a cultural shift in an organization that allows everyone to feel safe, accepted, and able to bring their whole self to work. This is especially important today, when gay and transgender rights are under assault in several states.

What’s truly heartening to see is how taking bold action—such as creating the Trans+ Summit—has allowed allyship to become a core part of the Intuit culture. In the three years since the summit launched, attendance has snowballed. In 2020, the first summit drew a couple of hundred people. Last year, it brought in about 500. And the Trans+ Summit on March 31 had nearly 800 registrants, mostly from within Intuit. The event keeps gathering momentum with more people wanting to be part of it.

Allyship as talent magnet

Beyond helping others feel safe and supported, a company culture that embraces allyship and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion can be a factor in attracting talent.

 Promoting events like the Trans+ Summit, sends a clear message to people that we’re an organization where allyship is alive and well—a place where they can indeed bring their whole selves to work. It’s a differentiator.

The same is true for employee benefits that support employees and their family members who are trans or non-binary. Intuit has grown the number of benefit options that do this. Our plans can include both mental and physical health benefits like behavioral health services, including counseling for gender dysphoria and related psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. We also cover gender reassignment and related surgery, including all procedures recommended by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

 We’ve also created a trans support channel within Intuit’s internal communications—and you don’t even need to be trans to be a part of it. It’s a safe space that benefits both employees and family members of trans or non-binary people. We made this space for people who may have a trans family member—a child, sibling, or parent, for example—and need support from others who understand the challenges they may be facing. 

 Strive to do your best

Remember to be patient with yourself. For many, it will take time to develop the habits of better allyship. There may be times when you’ll forget the name of a colleague who’s in transition, or bungle someone’s pronouns. If that happens, remember, we’re all works in progress and can learn to do better next time. 

Most important is pursuing ways to be a better ally by striving to be more inclusive and creating a company culture where no one needs to hide.