Recently, it's been a particularly tough time for the LGBTQ+ community and especially those that identify as transgender or non-binary. We wanted to reaffirm our commitment and support for the LGBTQ+ Community, and to share more widely what we are doing at AND Digital to make sure those in the LGBTQ+ Community can bring their authentic selves to work.
At AND Digital, we have a strong LGBTQ+ Community. We want to represent and stand up for LGBTQ+ ANDis, not just as employees, but as invaluable humans. Across the company, we support a wide variety of diverse ANDis from BAME+ and ‘distinguishing differences’ (those with a neurodiversity or physical disability), carers to working parents and women in tech. The inclusion of every single one of our ANDis is paramount in creating the environment that supports each of us to thrive and flourish.
The right thing to do and vital in our mission to close the digital skills gap
AND is committed to provide a welcoming, safe and fulfilling environment for people to be themselves. As part of this, we actively support ANDis’ decisions about their gender identity, including any process of gender reassignment - begun or complete. We’ll actively protect the right to one’s own identity.
Founder and CEO, Paramjit Uppal, said: ‘AND creates these protections and others not because it is required by law, but because it is at the core of who we are and is essential to our culture and to achieving our mission as an organisation. We're fast becoming a global organisation so we’ve committed to create a safe, equal and inclusive environment for all ANDis wherever we operate globally, and that means going above the minimums required by law in the territories we operate in.’
Having a strong LGBTQ+ Community at AND also means we can be truly inclusive and effective in our mission to close the digital skills gap. Harnessing the power of diversity will support us and our clients to create inclusive products and services for everyone.
Changing structures to create an inclusive place to work
Our ‘Structural Inclusion’ journey brings change to our policies and processes to further enable inclusion for all, including those in the LGBTQ+ Community. It means recognising that some processes and systems are not neutrally designed, and so they can unfairly benefit some people and disadvantage others. We are removing barriers to ensure everyone is included and can thrive at work, and allowing diversity to flourish.
Inclusion fundamental to our business strategy
We now have a dedicated Inclusion Lead who is developing and rolling out an overarching inclusion strategy directly with the company’s leaders. He’s working with the lead of the LGBTQ+ Community, our ‘People Evolution’ team and the Social Impact, Ethics and Inclusion Committee to help implement our immediate and longer term priorities.
As a company, it’s a learning process to make sure members of the LGBTQ+ Community, and everyone, feel safe and are able to bring their whole selves to work. We’re going to need to continually learn and change in order to protect and grow our inclusive structures and culture.
We stand with the LGBTQ+ community now, and always.