Pride Month has drawn to a close and as the pandemic has scuppered many Pride celebrations around the globe, we felt it even more important to encourage Speechmatics to show its allyship as an employer. 6 years ago when Speechmatics was in its relative infancy, the Leadership Team were different and in true start-up style, the location was nothing more than a re-purposed large shed in a residential street in Cambridge, UK, but we have always felt comfortable and empowered to be our authentic selves in the workplace.
Before I officially started working for Speechmatics, I was invited along to a summer social event – remember when we had those? – and as it was a ‘plus-one’ event, I took my wife along to meet some of my soon-to-be colleagues.
It wasn’t without some level of worry. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it feels for me at least, that there’s always an element of anxiety at coming out. The fear that you will be treated differently or that the same opportunities might not present themselves in the way that they might to our straight, cis-gendered colleagues. I think at the time I joined Speechmatics, I was the only LGBTQIA+ member of the small team but I needn’t have worried, no one batted an eyelid at meeting my same-sex partner. I feel exceptionally privileged to be able to write this. There is still so much to do to get us closer to equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. The fact that so many continue to be discriminated against, prosecuted, and marginalized means that those of us who can, must take positive steps to move the needle and improve the lives of so many who need our voices. This year, Speechmatics joined the ranks of businesses that add the colors of the progress flag to their logo for the month of June. This action not only shows support and dedication to the diversity of their workforce but also to clients and customers. To advertize that we care deeply about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). As a forward-thinking company in the technology space, Speechmatics prides itself on a culture of acceptance and freedom of expression. As employees, we understand that we represent the organization and are proud to nurture that open acceptance – not just for the month of June – but all year round. Of course, we can do more to build on the culture of safety for any members of the LGBTQIA+ community who may come our way and I’m excited to continue and lead the journey with Speechmatics. I will be a voice and influence the direction the organization takes on its future DE&I programs so that we can work in an environment where we are all celebrated.
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