At Snowplow, ‘Inclusivity’ and ‘Empowerment’ are two of our core values; we believe it is important to encourage and support our people to be exactly who they are without the need to hide any part of themselves.
With Pride Month coming to a close, we thought we’d end it by asking our team what Pride means to them.
What does being an LGBT+ ally mean to you?
MN: Supporting people of any orientation to not only feel comfortable being who they are but also in overcoming ridiculously outdated belief systems that create systemic barriers in all aspects of their lives.
NF: An ally is someone who will support the LGBT community. They are someone who is not afraid to stand up for the LGBT community if need be. They are open to learning about the hardships people within the LGBT community have been through and are still going through.
FD: It means supporting my LGBT friends and the broader LGBT community. It means supporting LGBT rights and being vocal about it.
SW: It means supporting an individual’s choice and their ability to be who they are in their everyday lives.
“Recognising that we live in a society where LGBT+ can be celebrated and acknowledged is a beautiful thing!“ - Max D
MDM: It means accepting people for exactly who they are, who they love and how they want the world to perceive them. It’s about seeing everyone as your equal, we’re all human - that’s what matters, not how someone identifies.
Why is it important that Snowplow recognises and celebrates Pride Month?
MN: It’s the right thing to do. Maybe someday there won’t be prejudice or discrimination or even worse things like violence towards people who prefer any particular orientation, but until then recognising and supporting movements like Pride signifies that as a company Snowplow wants that to be the new normal.
CO: Celebrating pride month is certainly a positive thing, but I actually think it’s far more important that we foster an inclusive culture all year round than it is that we celebrate Pride for one month.
NF: It is important for a company to recognise any minority. Sexuality is always such a taboo in the workplace, but it really doesn’t have to be. Sexuality ≠ sexual activity. We are celebrating the fact that we hire talented, queer individuals who may not be so welcome in all environments. We celebrate Pride so that we can educate colleagues who may not know much about the community, the history and the reason why we have parades.
BB: I think that Pride is one of the best examples of inclusivity that exists, and as a company having inclusivity as a value, it seems quite logical that we should celebrate Pride Month.
FD: It shows we care and want to be a part of an important conversation. And it shows new hires and employees alike that Snowplow is a place for everyone, which is so important if we want a diverse and thriving workplace and culture.
Why is Snowplow’s value of inclusivity important to you?
MJ: Genuine inclusivity says more than just being inclusive; from my experience a company that is inclusive is also very honest, transparent and down-to-earth. So I see inclusivity not only as an important trait for companies to have, but also as an indicator of other positive traits.
“Diversity is more fun and brings a wider set of ideas. It would be ridiculous to have everyone think the same at a company - you’d never grow.” - Mike N
NF: It seems like common sense and that inclusivity shouldn’t have to be a value but unfortunately we do live in a world where certain minorities are not welcome and do not feel safe. Snowplow is a safe environment where we can all come to work and be ourselves, no matter what our sexuality, gender, age, ability, race, religion or political stance may be.
SW: Treating everybody equally and particularly listening to all makes for a diverse, fun work community where everybody is trusted, and ideas and creativity can flourish. It makes for happier people and usually good business decisions too!
CS: It means we don’t have to pretend to be someone we’re not.
WB: Snowplow is the first organization I’ve worked for where I don’t feel like I have to suppress my personal life in order to avoid being treated differently in one way or another. Even something as small as telling a coworker how I spent a weekend without having to edit details that would out me is such a huge deal, because it means that I can focus on doing and enjoying my job without having to maintain a fragmented self or carrying the effects of that into the rest of my life.
Are there any things you think a company can do to ensure members of the LGBT+ community feel supported and safe to be themselves at work?
MJ: It’s on everyone to keep the company culture in check. Snowplow has a very welcoming and transparent culture, but I know that it only takes one or two people to change that culture, so building a culture of honest and direct feedback is important.
MN: It’s mostly just to treat everyone with respect and equality and a sense that “you’ve got their back” if they feel uncomfortable in particular situations.
NF: Communication! More often than not when you join a new company, you probably won’t know their stance on Pride straight away. You’ll have thoughts such as “Is it okay for me to correct my colleagues on my pronouns?”, “Can I invite my partner of the same gender to a work event?”, “What toilets can I use if I consider myself non-binary?”. In a heteronormative world, the majority of people will not need to worry about these things, so we need to make sure that we address these issues and show our support so we can bring our best selves to work without worrying what others may think.
SCS: It’s easy to state a commitment to providing a safe space for the LGBT+ community without providing enough measures to support it. Processes can often feel uninspiring and drab. I think the solution is to make inclusivity part of the year-round mission and serve as an ongoing reminder of our commitment to be so.
“Things can quickly become a taboo if they’re not talked about.” - Ben B
MDM: I think it’s important for everyone to be themselves at work so that no one feels they have to hide behind a false persona. Be conscious of language being used/offensive things being said and if anything does get said then to pull that person aside and explain why that isn’t ok. Have you done/ are you doing anything outside of the workplace to celebrate Pride this year?
CO: I went to see my friend play rugby in the Union Cup in Dublin, a gay friendly tournament for Pride month.
NF: I have attended Penguin (the publisher) Pride: a night of queer writing and performance and I’m representing the Gay Christian community at London Pride in July!
SCS: I’ve taken some time to reflect and enjoyed hearing and reading more as a part of the increased awareness during Pride. I’ve not previously thought it’s mine to celebrate. However, I do believe it’s really important, and I’m grateful to live in changing times, so maybe I should be celebrating too!
BB: I’m going to the gay clubs in Berlin. Berghain!
MDM: Usually, I would be at the Pride Parade in London! But this year, I’ll be in Amsterdam watching Tash Sultana, who identifies as nonbinary, perform.
WB: St Louis Pride is this weekend, so I’m all stocked up on beads and cheeky tanks.
SCS: There is a difference between being intellectually and instinctively inclusive of the LGBT+ community. I’m on a journey too, but I’m hopeful that society will get to a point where we don’t need to think of being inclusive, we just are.
MDM: I hope one day we get to a place where people no longer feel like they have to fight to be accepted for who they are or to hide who they truly are. Every workplace should realise that having employees who feel free to be themselves doesn’t just benefit those people, it benefits the entire organisation.
At Snowplow, we believe the best solutions, decisions and creative leaps are made when people with different perspectives come together to solve problems. We need to be conscious and mindful of those who care about the problems we are solving, or are impacted by their outcome, and make them feel welcome and empowered to participate in the problem solving process.
Snowplow is dedicated to building and supporting a brilliant, diverse and hugely inclusive team. We don’t discriminate against gender, race, religion or belief, disability, age, marital status or sexual orientation. Whatever your background may be, we welcome anyone with talent, drive and emotional intelligence.