Earlier in my career, I was put into the “work closet” where I had to park my true self at the reception desk, pretending to be someone else for 8+ hours a day so I could be treated the same as my colleagues. As I have grown in my career and taken on more senior roles, I finally found the power to be my true self in the office. Since then, I’ve become an advocate and example for many employees in more junior positions to be able to be their authentic selves.
While we celebrate Pride month with the rest of the world in June, creating a safe and inclusive environment for Chain.io team members who belong to the community themselves, have friends or family members who identify as LGBTQ+, or are proud allies, is essential year-round. There’s a lot of workplaces that will change their logo to the Pride flag during June, but they don’t truly support all of their people during the other 11 months of the year.
At Chain.io, inclusivity is one of our four primary core values. We’ve created policies to ensure all employees, regardless of race, gender, sexual-orientation, or ability level are treated with the same level of respect, like our parental leave policy that allows birth and non-birth givers, as well as adoptive parents, up to three months of paid time out. To put that into practice, we established an internal diversity group where important topics can be discussed and community is created. We want people to feel they can bring their whole selves to work every day.
In honor of Pride month, we want to highlight some incredible LGBTQ+ tech leaders, plus share resources for LGBTQ+ workers in the tech industry.
LGBTQ+ Tech Leaders
Arlan Hamilton built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.
Jon “Maddog” Hall is well known as the Executive Director of Linux. He worked with Linus Torvalds to make the Linux kernel 64-bit portable across hardware architectures. Hall is the author of the original “Linux for Dummies,” guide and has helped many businesses develop tech plans, including work with IBM, Silicon Graphics, and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Gina Trapani is a tech leader who has been building software and companies for two decades. She is best known for founding Lifehacker, the blockbuster tech and productivity blog acquired by Univision in 2016. Fast Company named Gina one of the Most Influential Women in Technology, and Business Insider included her on their list of the Most Powerful LGBTQ People in Tech. She now serves as the CEO of Postlight, a platform that powers digital products such as websites and apps.
Alan Turing was responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer. In 1936, he developed the idea for the Universal Turing Machine, the basis for the first computer and developed a test for artificial intelligence in 1950, which is still used today.
Leanne is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world — committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology. Leanne launched include.io, a mentoring and recruiting platform for underrepresented technologists and recruiters, in 2017. The product fights bias in technology by scaling access to direct referrals outside of our bias networks.
Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its board of directors. Before being named CEO in 2011, Tim was Apple’s COO, responsible for the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and support in all markets and countries. He played a key role in developing Apple’s Macintosh division and development of products at Compaq and IBM.
Diversity Programs & Resources
Lesbians Who Tech and Allies is a community of LGBTQ+ women, non-binary, and trans individials in and around tech, plus the people who support them. The goal of Lesbians Who Tech is to create visibility within the tech world for queer women, non-binary, and trans techies by building a network of colleagues and friends in the industry.
TransTech is an incubator for LGBTQ Talent with a focus on economically empowering the T, transgender people, in the tech community. TransTech’s mission is to empower, educate, and employ those facing barriers in education and in the work place, as well as to reduce instances of discrimination, with a concentration on trans and gender non conforming individuals.
Out in Tech was established to unite the LGBTQ+ tech community. They work to create opportunities for LGBTQ+ members to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change. Ultimately, they are working toward a tech industry where LGBTQ+ people are empowered, well represented, and have full agency, from intern to CEO.
LGBTQ+ Support is Important to Chain.io
Being open about who we are at work is not something we have always had the freedom to do. Thanks to the support of past LGBTQ+ rights advocates, being out at work has become more of a reality for many employees. If this isn’t the case at your organization, read through the Human Rights Campaign’s guide for advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and building support.
In nearly every department at Chain.io, someone is connected to the LGBTQ+ community, so ensuring that the people we hire and the companies we work with are inclusive and supportive is a top priority.
If you’re looking for a place where you can be your authentic self without fear of discrimination, take a look at our open positions and apply today.Explore Open Positions