Symantec Recognized as a Leader in Transgender Workplace Equality

Cass Averill
Jun 29, 2016 · 2 min read
Symantec Diversity & Inclusion Manager Markus Achord (left) and Training Czar Cass Averill (right) proudly showing off their Champion for Transgender Equality award.

I’m proud to work for a company who takes diversity and inclusion seriously and works hard to make sure all of their employees feel safe, seen, heard, and appreciated. Symantec’s commitment to doing the right thing and seizing every opportunity to improve is what makes us stand out against the rest. On April 21st at the 2016 Oregonians Against Discrimination Business Leaders Luncheon held in Portland, Oregon I had the honor of accepting an award on Symantec’s behalf from Basic Rights Oregon — the largest LGBTQ advocacy, education, and political organization in the state — for being a leader in transgender workplace equality.

The acceptance I received at Symantec while transitioning on the job gave me the strength and courage to stand up and speak out for not just myself, but for all transgender employees across the globe. I’ve had the pleasure of working very closely with our HR & Diversity & Inclusion departments to ensure that future transgender employees have equal medical benefits (in the U.S.), clear access to bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, and have created a clearly documented process for how to transition on the job. Never once did I receive resistance in achieving these goals. I attribute this to the fact that here at Symantec we Value Individual Differences. Symantec’s willingness to give serious consideration to any concern I’ve raised has served to boost not only my personal moral, but the moral of all employees as it shows that the company supports people bringing their true authentic selves to work — regardless of personal identity label.

Being recognized as an organization who is doing it right at a time when more than 90% of transgender people in the U.S. report experiencing harassment or discrimination at work is especially poignant. Hearing success stories for the transgender community is equally as important as the stories of our struggle and strife. Every positive story that gets shared continues the process of rewriting the narrative for the transgender community. As David Mitchell says in his book Cloud Atlas “by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future”. Thank you Symantec for helping write a better future for all transgender folks across the globe.

Symantec LGBT employees showing pride after receiving the Champion for Transgender Equality award. From left to right: Shale Vaughn, Cass Averill, Ray Dunmire, & Sandra Guzdek.

Cass Averill

Written by

Program Director for DEI & Transgender Activist seeking equality through visibility. I am the man with the megaphone; all opinions expressed are my own.

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