This Pride month, I cannot stop thinking of everyone that fits in. I think about those that fall in love with the right person, identify with their assigned gender, and can build a family quickly if they wanted to. I think about the comfort of “being normal”; of not having to explain your lifestyle to anyone or standing up for your right to have a family. It must be so easy.
I am sure that many of you while filling in the tax forms required when you started your last job, didn't have to think twice about them as they reflect most families' construction; they ask about the mother, father, and children. You probably didn't have to hesitate about which gender box to circle. You never asked yourself if you can take parental leave as the policy of your company only mentions mothers– something some families don’t have. You never have to correct your co-workers when they assume you have a wife, when in fact you have a husband, all the while worrying not to offend them for making the mistake.
Sure, we have come a long way since the days of extreme discrimination, invisibility, and shame. But we aren't fully there– not in the letters of the law, nor our everyday social environments. We are far from being able to rest.
In Israeli high-tech, it is sometimes easy to forget that we are part of the surrounding world. With this month's pride celebrations in most of the offices, it feels open and safe. With every startup switching its logos to include the colours of the rainbow, and happy hours decorated with pride flags galore, it is easy to feel that the fight is over, and the battle has already been won.
However, the truth is that we still have a long way to go. And tech companies must proactively move forward if they want to be true allies and not just wave a flag representing empty promises for a couple of weeks of the year.
I am proud to work at AppsFlyer, which works all year round to help the global LGBTQ+ community thrive and permits an environment that allows people to be themselves, come out comfortably, be who they are, and express themselves fully. This is real inclusivity.
When our company updated its parental leave policy some months ago, LGBTQ+ families were an integral part of the process and consideration. Now, as a father in a two-father household, I don't have to think twice about how I will be able to stay at home for 6 months for our next child. I don’t even have to ask for it– it is simply offered to me. This is real inclusivity.
This month, the LGPTQ+ community is striving to make all of its members feel secure to be themselves and identify with whatever gender or sexuality they choose; to feel free in the internal systems we are a part of; we are striving for real inclusion.
Tech companies in Israel are leading the way, showing the workforce what company culture development looks like. We have a responsibility to set inclusive standards which break the barrier of “being normal”.
So, this pride, I ask you to think of how you and your company can be different and promote inclusion. Take those thoughts and turn them into action– not just this month, but all year round.
Written by Jonatan Macznik, Social Responsibility Manager at AppsFlyer