Belonging and Inclusion. Everyone should feel heard, supported, and valued. Whether that’s at home or at the workplace, psychological safety within a group is important to us.
We’ve recently announced our B&I approach within the company, as we believe belonging and inclusion are not just about diversity, but a wider belief and commitment to celebrate, support and advocate our individuality.
In honor of Pride Month, we are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. We interviewed one of our employees, who is a member, about their professional experience in order to best support the community here at Orbus. #BetterTogether
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride means being able to be yourself without being ashamed and trusting those close to you, to support you.
What role does being a part of the LGBTQ+ community play in your professional life?
Everybody thinks that as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you only have to come out once in your life, which is actually far from reality. You have to come out repeatedly throughout your life.
Every time you make a new connection, start a new job or join a hobby group, you have to come out. And every time it's almost as daunting as the last.
You've always got several questions running around your head, will I be treated differently? Will I be excluded from events and conversations? Or will coming out affect my career opportunities? All of these worries are present every time.
Time has moved on a lot and that's amazing, but there is still prejudice there.
Why is it important to have a diverse representation in the workplace?
Everyone has different life experiences. So by representing different groups of people from different walks of life, it enables unique contributions to be made to the company. These in turn will help to create ideas and products that are more rounded and inclusive.
Do you feel there are still barriers for the LGBTQ+ in the professional space today?
There's a feeling of wanting to stay in the closet for fear of your sexual orientation affecting your professional opportunities, due to prejudice.
People that are prejudiced don't wear a badge. It doesn't necessarily have to be verbally expressed either. Discrimination can be subtle, which makes it difficult for you to prove.
I'd say that there are barriers but they're not so severe as to stop you from working in the industry. It's just background things in your head that make you feel like you are reluctant to come out.
What can companies do to better support diversity in the workplace?
Creating anonymous LGBTQ+ spaces where professionally closeted employees can share their experiences with each other would be a good idea. This would make them feel less isolated as speaking with others in the same situation can make you feel a bit less alone. If there are several professionally closeted people, they wouldn't necessarily know who each other are, so it would help with inclusion.
A sense of community is also important because the tech industry has a relatively masculine culture, so it can be an intimidating environment to come out in.
In what way does Orbus support LGBTQ+ employees?
From the onset, it's been an extremely warm and people-centered company to work for, so I get the impression they genuinely do care. Orbus is very inclusive and has made me feel really supported.
In your opinion, how would you define a positive company culture?
I think a positive culture company culture is one that promotes well-being as a win-win approach. The company enjoys high productivity due to the better well-being of employees. Employees enjoy personal well-being benefits too, with a greater work-life balance and colleague engagement. It’s a culture where both parties benefit.
Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ role models in the tech industry?
I’d say, Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, is obviously a huge representative in the tech community. He was pioneering in that sense because the tech industry is quite masculine.
What can the technology industry do to have better LGBTQ+ representation?
Having greater support for closeted employees who may feel that it's difficult to come out. It's quite easy to point out problems but then thinking of the solutions is the hard part.
Representation has improved since the start of my professional career. I've seen companies engaging a lot more with Pride month, so they are wanting to engage with the LGBTQ+ community more. That’s very positive, so I do feel like the landscape is improving.
The Bottom Line
At Orbus, we want to do what we can to provide a sense of community and celebrate individuality for everyone at all times, not just during Pride month. It’s clear that within the tech industry, there is so much more that needs to be done to ensure everyone feels included.
We recognize this at Orbus, and we will continue to improve and build upon our own B&I approach in the future, taking the necessary steps to make everyone know that they belong.
We’d also like to thank the member of staff that was interviewed for trusting us with their thoughts. We hope this post represents a safe space for others to share their experiences too - either anonymously or not. We are all #BetterTogether.