At Intuit, proud maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint, we believe that every employee should bring their whole self to work. Our Pride Network members are leading the way and hosted our first Trans Summit, mentioned by Forbes to be the first of its kind for Silicon Valley.
Our employees, GenderCool Project champions, and guests from Adobe, Bank of the West, Airbnb and others, left with a greater understanding of what the transgender community experiences day to day, how we can move both our company and society forward, and leaders walked out with action items based on the biggest concerns they had heard.
The greatest learning for all were the ways we can show up as a better ally each and every day.
Here are three ways you can be a better ally to the LGBTQ+ community:
Representation and visibility matter, especially for members of our community who may be going through a transition.
There are employees who may be actively transitioning and for some colleagues who may not be aware or may not know how to address someone, pronouns serve as a reminder: We SEE you for who you are, and most important, we affirm that you BELONG.
A simple gesture such as adding pronouns to your email signature can make a difference.
Strive for Five
While going through their transition, Cedric Honigberg and Tanner Arnold didn’t want their team to feel badly or apologize for using the incorrect pronoun by mistake, and instead asked them to “Strive for 5” – a framework they created to describe levels of transgender allyship.
“It’s not about only striving for five at work, at home, or within your team,” Tanner says. “Strive for five means every single interaction. It means that if you’re the person who is in charge of hiring a vendor outside, that vendor should strive for five, that contractor should strive for five and every single person that you’re going to come into contact with who is going to impact your employees should be striving for five and should share those same values.”
Be visible and supportive
An important part of being an ally is showing your support, even if you don’t experience the same struggles. This can be done through spreading positive messages to outshine the negative, or by using your own platform to give a voice to those less heard. If your company has an LGBTQ+ employee resource group, learn more, get involved, and participate in events to support the community.
Scott Beth, our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, described the Trans Summit as being “a manifestation of Intuit’s long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion. We recognize that the industry, including Intuit, needs to better learn how to create truly safe spaces for our employees to be their whole selves at work.”
It doesn’t matter where you work, everyone plays a part in making sure all people, regardless of their gender, feel like they belong. We believe that together we prosper and by working together, we can build safe spaces where everyone feels included.