We chat to the folks behind Out@Envato to learn how they're supporting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month.
If you’ve noticed a lot more rainbow flags flying high lately, that’s because it’s Pride Month! As well as a celebration of diversity and acknowledgment of the incredible impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have on our lives, the month of June is also about recognizing the contributions of our peers and coworkers, learning about LGBTIQA+ history and experiences, and contributing to a more inclusive society.
At Envato, we pride ourselves on our inclusive culture and welcoming environment, but we’re always striving to do better. One way we’re doing this is through Out@Envato – a staff-led group dedicated to advocating for LGBTIQA+ employees, leading diversity education, and creating a safe and inclusive workplace.
We chatted with Envato Vibe Manager Claire March to learn how Envato is supporting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month, and how everyone can contribute to creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace all year round.
Hi Claire! What’s the mission behind Out@Envato?
Out@Envato is Envato’s longest-standing Inclusion & Diversity working group. Our mission is to improve visibility, understanding, and safety for LGBTQIA+ people at Envato and in the larger tech community. Out@Envato is a group of LGBTQIA+ people and allies, who aim to work towards our mission statement:
“To improve visibility, understanding, and safety for LGBTQIA+ people at Envato and in the larger tech community.”
Ultimately, we want to ensure we’re providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our LGBTIQA+ employees. The group helps to improve our working practices and run events to improve visibility and education around all things related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
How did you get involved with Out@Envato, and why? How has it changed your experience working at Envato?
As Vibe Manager, a key part of my role is connecting people through our company events and our community groups. I originally joined thinking I would just assist with planning events and recognition days – three years later, I’m a very active member and proud ally! My goal is to make Envato – and the broader Tech community – a safe and inclusive place for anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+.
What does Out@Envato do to support Envato employees?
At Envato, we run regular events throughout the year which aim to provide visibility around different LGBTQIA+ related challenges and days of significance. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been particularly focused on gender diversity, as well as broader events and initiatives aligned to things such as Pride, Transgender Day of Visibility, and Wear it Purple.
Over the past year, we’ve put a lot of focus on introducing pronouns into everyday language, and have introduced pronoun options for all employees within their HR and Slack profiles. We’ve also added gender-inclusive signs for the bathrooms in our office
Finally, we take part in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) submission each year, which helps us make informed decisions about how we can continue to improve our inclusion efforts.
How is Envato striving to be a supportive ally to LGBTQIA+ employees, colleagues, and co-workers?
The most important thing we can do is commit to the ongoing improvement of our culture, our language, and our company policies and processes.
With the help of the annual AWEI survey, Out@Envato has identified a number of key initiatives that we’re pursuing in order to make Envato a more inclusive space. In particular, we’re developing and implementing clearer and more inclusive policies for transgender and gender diverse individuals, introducing pronoun training, as well as providing education to help other Envato coworkers understand how LGBTQIA+ issues affect the people around them.
What can non-LGBTQIA+ colleagues and coworkers do to be supportive allies?
Keep listening and learning. Educate yourself on community issues. Talk to LGBT-identifying people about their experiences, read books and listen to podcasts. Speak out if you hear or see something that doesn’t align with our mission statement and stay alert to inequities and disparities. And be prepared to take action; being an ally is not about making yourself look good or feel better.
How important are diversity, inclusion, and acceptance in the workplace?
For both business and moral reasons, inclusion and acceptance are critical. Research is clear that diverse teams are more productive and produce better results than homogeneous teams. It’s also really important to understand that most people are lacking some form of privilege.
Inclusion and acceptance in the workplace affect most people’s comfort, and psychological – or even physical – safety in an environment where they spend a large amount of their time. It also affects most people’s ability to be productive members of their teams. Understanding that diversity and inclusion affect a majority of actual or potential employees – as well as customers and other community members – really helps you to understand the scope of the issue.
What can other workplaces do to better support and celebrate their LGBTQIA+ community and employees?
A great place to start is to develop a clear mission for supporting LGBTQIA+ employees in the workplace. Aim to get support and advocacy from senior team members, as they will be powerful allies.
Participating in the AWEI survey has also been very helpful for us in identifying areas for possible improvement. It’s not enough to express support through PR campaigns – all companies can and must make improvements to the work environment they provide to their sexuality and gender-diverse employees. They also need to proactively identify what those improvements are instead of waiting for employees to raise issues, which many are reluctant to do.
What is Envato doing right? What can we do better?
We have an active and passionate community of people who strive to make sure that our mission statement is on the broader agenda. We have achieved so much in the last few years, which is definitely something to be proud of – but we can always do more. We are currently working towards making Envato more inclusive for trans and non-binary team members and candidates, and we continue to raise awareness about the needs and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people at Envato and the world. We’re currently looking to expand the Out@Envato group to include more Senior Leaders. We’d also love to achieve Silver status in our next AWEI submission – so watch this space!
Envato’s link-in-bio tool Milkshake has released a limited-time ‘Look’ to celebrate Pride Month, which will be available until the 30th of June. It includes curated Cards you can easily share to celebrate, support, and learn from the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as a collection of resources, educational articles, local events, and fundraisers from trusted organizations, such as the advocacy groups Minus18 Youth and Pride Foundation Australia.
Out@Envato Australia will also be hosting a Pride Trivia event in June, aiming to get everyone together, share knowledge and inspire Pride. Out@Envato Mexico also has a host of Pride activities planned throughout June, including: