Pride for the LGBTQ+ Community Inside and Outside the Workplace

Pride for the LGBTQ+ Community Inside and Outside the Workplace

Pride for the LGBTQ+ Community Inside and Outside the Workplace

Around the world, Google is committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community by creating a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our employees and providing support, resources, and products to local organizations fighting for equality. While Google has been an active, longtime ally of LGBTQ+ issues, we’ve also spent the past several years analyzing areas where we can do more. We have a responsibility to extend our allyship beyond our workspaces to push for a just world for the global LGBTQ+ community and do our part to ensure that their rights are recognized.. The work Google does in the workplace and in the community is vital to creating a diverse and equitable world for LGBTQ+ people. But to change the conditions that create those inequalities in the first place, we must ensure all LGBTQ+ people enjoy legal protections. Recently, Google donated $500,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute which will provide direct cash assistance to Black trans people through the organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Pride in Our Products

The internal work we do is essential, but the fight for LGBTQ+ equality doesn't stop when the workday does. That's why Google supports product inclusion, which means building the products and resources that allow businesses and organizations to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community. Whether it's a YouTube video like The Story of Jacob and City Gym, a video produced by a Kansas City gym to honor Pride month, or our Supplier Diversity Program, which has funneled over 1 billion dollars to LGBTQ+ and other minority-owned businesses since 2014, Google is investing in LGBTQ+ equality up and down the supply chain. Finally, we are committed to our responsibility to protect the community from harmful content that may land on our YouTube platform. That’s why in June 2019 we announced an update to our hate speech policy to specifically prohibit videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on attributes like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

Pride in Our Products

Pride in Our Workplace

At Google, we’re intentently working toward creating a workplace where all LGBTQ+ employees feel seen, valued, and heard. Our employee resource groups, Pride at Google and Trans@ Google, have over 50 global chapters representing thousands of Googlers. In recognition of different cultural contexts around the world, we organize regional events.Pride+, a conference in Warsaw, in 2019 brought together Googlers from 26 countries to understand issues facing LGBTQ+ communities in Central and Eastern Europe and build LGBTQ+ leadership allyship among our Google community. We also hosted an internal Trans Employees and Allies Conference in London in 2019, featuring talks from inspiring trans leaders and discussions on how to create more inclusive places on our campuses. In the U.S., we provided support and staff for the Lesbians Who Tech Pride Summit to support visibility for women, trans+ and nonbinary individuals in tech. We also created an innovative new program called Self-ID, which allows us to gather voluntary demographic data on everything from race to gender and sexuality to give us a better picture of who works at Google—and how to create a workplace that supports and serves them.

Helping the Helpers

But we know that equality isn't only won through better products, programs, and financial priorities. It's won in communities across the world, in government buildings, and in the streets. In that spirit, Google donated more than 1.2 million dollars to 70 local LGBTQ+ organizations in 2020 fighting for change at the community level. These organizations provide critical support to LGBTQ+ communities disproportionately impacted by COVID, providing critical relief to some of the most vulnerable populations. The team at Switchboard, an LGBTQ+ hotline in the UK, uses Google Suites for Nonprofits to keep the line up and running for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week — even on holidays. And our 3.2 million dollar scholarship to The Trevor Project—as well as our 11 Google Fellows offering full-time support—has helped the organization integrate AI into its crisis and counseling services, allowing them to reach even more people at a time when many LGBTQ+ people feel isolated and alone.

Helping the Helpers

Making Global Change

Our internal initiatives and real-world organizational support are critical in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. But we live in a world where, despite huge gains, many LGBTQ+ people still face rampant discrimination, exclusion, and even prison time, simply because of their identities. Homosexuality is still illegal in at least 70 countries and at least nine countries have laws targeting gender identity and expression. At Google, we know that we cannot achieve equality for LGBTQ+ individuals without achieving full human rights for all people, irrespective of gender or sexuality. And we cannot do that without campaigns that act in solidarity to change laws that threaten the LGBTQ+ community across the globe. That's why Google has taken its commitment to LGBTQ+ rights a step further, supporting the Global Equality Caucus—an organization that brings together nearly 100 elected officials from 25 different countries to push for universal LGBTQ+ human rights in every nation in the world. Structural change is essential in creating true equality for LGBTQ+ individuals around the world. At Google, we believe that the starting point to LGBTQ+ equality is the law, which in each and every country around the world should provide equal protections and rights to all citizens irrespective of gender identity or expression. That's why we are delighted to help create a space for activists, lawmakers, and citizens, in general, to come together and agree on a path forward to fight discrimination, abuse or persecution. Google came on board to support the Global Equality Caucus’ work to achieve LGBTQ+ equality around the world. Google understands the responsibility of our work is larger than our products and services and we recognize the need to stand up for these critical human rights issues. This is the marathon part of the fight—the long and slow effort to change the fundamental rules of the game. At Google, we believe that when we combine these efforts—the internal work, the community support, and the structural change—we don't merely win just workplaces. We win a just world.

By Pedro Pina