Out and Proud at Xandr
Another June, another Pride, and I’m very happy to be spending it with my LGBTQ+ friends at Xandr. I recall coming to Xandr for my interview a few years ago and seeing a Pride flag hanging from a pillar in the HR interview area, the first strong signal that this company was different from others. I had been out to colleagues in every company I’ve worked in since college, but it was just a part of me, not reflected in or celebrated by the company. I had no expectation that a company would take a stand in supporting our community one way or the other. But when I came to Xandr, saw the flag, and found out the company had a very active LGBTQ+ group made up of our community and allies, I had a sense of being home that I never expected to feel or knew that I needed from my company.
After starting my job, I realized the flag in HR was not just there for Pride as some corporate placation in June but was a year-round fixture. I saw Pride flags proudly displayed on desks around the office, and Pride swag being worn by many straight colleagues, which sent a strong signal that we don’t just recognize being different but celebrate it. After becoming an active member of our LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group, which focuses on training, celebrating, and addressing the biggest issues in our community, I found yet another supportive community. I learned that we sponsor LGBTQ+ events in our conference space with speakers and performers, putting actual dollars into supporting our community. There are even benefits that help our community, like adoption and surrogacy assistance, extended maternal and paternal leave, pregnancy loss and miscarriage bereavement, and free mental health services. There is also extensive support for employees transitioning at work, including coverage for gender-affirming surgeries and manager resources for supporting employees during their transition.
Xandr has changed my expectations of my employer by showing me what a company is capable of doing when they actively celebrate their diverse community. Corporate Pride and LGBTQ+ inclusion at work isn’t perfect, and we sometimes struggle with balancing our values as employees with those of a publicly traded company. But we do make a difference in our community and the lives of our employees, and we constantly uphold our commitment to making Xandr a place that celebrates our diversity. The idea that a company could reflect and support me in such a personal way has changed the way I interact and share my life with colleagues.
When June ends each year and Pride becomes a memory, it’s important to take a hard look at what signals our companies send when it’s not convenient or PC. Do they invest money and time into areas that reflect our values? Do they make their employees feel celebrated all year, instead of just for the month? It feels good to finally work in a company that aligns to mine.