For decades, paths of persecution have populated the LGBTQ+ community facilitating a culture of acute and extreme homophobia. Church, state, and medical authorities have explicitly shared their negating remarks surrounding individuals whose identity strays away from heteronormative, yet their disapproval has only made those in support that much more eager to push for change and inclusion. The general public has been cognizant of the existence of difference that exists in the LGBTQ+ community and base their work, resources, and concerns on advocative mechanisms to exhibit these differences as a celebratory norm. The growth of social media and basic ideals of human rights have pooled activists, from all walks of life, into this environment that prioritizes establishing an LGBTQ+ agenda that promotes inclusion, empathy, and equality. Here, in Israel, this environment is more evident than ever being the “gay capital of the middle east.” Although there are several imperfections in the Israeli culture towards accepting homosexuality (like no same-sex marriage, only recent amendments towards same-sex couple’s surrogacy legislation, and strict conversion therapy measures), relative to our neighbours, Israel society, works diligently to create an environment of inclusivity in all realms of life. Here are what some Israeli companies and branches do to ensure inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community.
For over a decade, Fintech company Tipalti has and continues to develop and manage an automatic payment transfer platform that allows companies to engage more efficiently and effectively at global and/or local levels. Tipalti technology reduces the workload payment departments experience by 80% and replaces time-wasting manual processes to speed up financial reports. One of the company’s core values is “Be Authentic” which has been the seed that allows Tipalti’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to flourish in their diversity and inclusivity advocacy methods. One of the three ERGs at Tipalti is their LGBTQ+ group: activities and initiatives, such as joint lunches for the local group, lectures by prominent LGBTQ+ figures for all company employees and organizing employees to march together in the Pride Parade, are planned for the group members themselves and all employees, both globally and locally at each site. The group also holds meetings (physical and online) throughout the year to reinstate inclusion methods and plan events. Furthermore, Tipalti has recently hired a full-time Director of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) who is responsible for advancing Tipalti’s commitment to DEIB as a global priority and ensuring the workplace is inclusive and connected.
Tipalti was founded in 2010 by Chen Amit (CEO) and Oren Zeev (Chairman). Over the course of several funding rounds the company had raised $550 million, and in the past year had reached an $8.3 billion valuation, placing Tipalti among the 15 private fintech companies with the highest valuations in the world. Tipalti is expanding its workforce as the scope of money transfer is growing rapidly. Some of the company’s clients include Amazon Twitch, Twitter, Business Insider, GoDaddy, Fiverr, and Vimeo. Tipalti is located in Glil Yam, Israel and San Mateo, California.
The convergence between companies and their customers in the digital age has been more separated than ever before. Thus, Salesforce has made it its mission to find a remedy to these gaps with customer service management tools powered by AI big-data marketing intelligence, AI analytics, and voice technology, as well as security and field service solutions. Salesforce is a global powerhouse in software enterprises but is also a strict contender in pushing for LGBTQ+ advocacy and inclusion. The company’s culture and vision is to “leverage the company's influence to make a difference in the world and achieve gender equality and diversity while giving a sense of pride to its employees in Israel and the opportunity to express themselves as part of a tolerant and inclusive company.” By ensuring these values, Salesforce has initiated equality groups; Outforce is organized to promote equality in sexual orientation and gender identity for the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, Salesforce employees no matter their sexual orientation can receive a Fertility and Adoption grant of up to $40,000 for costs incurred for adoption, fertility treatment, and surrogacy (gestational carrier). Employees who are members of the transgender community are also given a support package that includes: gender affirmation medical reimbursement, gender affirmation leave, wardrobe reimbursement, legal fee reimbursement, counselling services, and more. Michal Porat, Social Media and Creative Content manager and leader of Outforce at Salesforce Israel noted, “At Salesforce, we celebrate Pride throughout the year. Pride Month is a great opportunity to mention that the LGBTQ+ struggle is a struggle for everyone, and we are happy to see employees co-operate and get involved with all our pride events.”
Salesforce Israel was Established in 2011 with the acquisition of the Israeli start-up Navajo System. The new sector has become an important R&D hub responsible for developing leading solutions for the international company. The R&D center in Israel is managed by Efrat Rapoport and employs over 700 people in three development centers in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, and Nazareth. The company, worldwide, has over $1 billion in managed assets and has offices in Israel, San Francisco, California, Bishopsgate, London, Sydney, and Tokyo.
Diversity recruiting platform Joonko has created a method for struggling enterprise recruiters to find qualified talent from underrepresented sectors. For Joonko partnering companies, a shared talent pool powered by AI engine matches has been established to enable friction-free sourcing and matching processes for surfacing recruiters’ ATS platforms. Making it her personal and professional mission to foster inclusive workforces, founder, and CEO Ilit Raz has created a company that thrives off its inclusive measures. Software Engineer Limor Shenkar mentioned, "When I first came to Joonko for my first face-to-face interview to join the team as a software engineer, the first thing that caught my eye was small pride flags placed on a few of the tables. That's how I knew that this is a company that will make me feel comfortable to be who I am, as a woman and as a proud lesbian. It does not go without saying. Not even in tech.” Joonko also hosts webinars and meetups in collaboration with leaders from the LGBTQ+ community and maintains a close connection with Noam Paz's LGBTQ Career Community - Israel.
Joonko was founded in 2016 by Ilit Raz. The company has raised $13 million to date from Vertex Ventures. Some of Joonko’s customers include American Express, Adidas, Booking.com, Nike, Accenture, Crocs, and Northwestern Mutual. There are 40 total Joonko employees: 32 at the Tel Aviv office and 7 at the New York office.
What started as a way to help small businesses find great candidates has grown into a leading online employment marketplace that connects millions of job seekers with companies of all sizes. Using AI-matching technology ZipRecruiter improves the job search experience for job seekers and helps businesses of all sizes find and hire the right candidates quickly. General Manager at ZipRecruiter Israel Avi Golan has established a synthesized environment of high-tech and inclusivity advocacy. He stated that “We as a company keep building new initiatives supporting our LGBTQ+ employees and are excited to keep growing this space for them and everyone in the company. As a people manager, I embrace and encourage my employees’ differences and know that a diverse team is key for innovation and creativity.” One of the initiatives aimed at ensuring LGBTQ+ inclusion at ZipRecruiter is their Internal community Quiz (Queers Uniting Individuals at ZipRecruiter): a forum, led by ZipRecruiter employees, to raise LGBTQ+ issues to the tech world at large.
The company was founded in 2010 by four entrepreneurs: Ian Siegel, Joe Edmonds, Ward Poulos and Will Redd, with over 1000 employees worldwide. In May 2021 the company became a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has raised a total of $769 million over the course of three funding rounds. ZipRecruiter headquarters are in Santa Monica, California and with offices here in Tel Aviv, which houses a quarter of their employee base.