This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a series of protests widely regarded as the historic event that ignited the gay liberation movement and the first Pride parade in 1970.
A lot of companies are joining in this year’s celebration by changing their logos or selling limited edition merchandise to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, but being an ally doesn’t stop at plastering a rainbow on everything and using #Pride online for the month of June. Here, we have compiled a list of tech brands who have taken concrete steps in creating equal opportunities for everyone and a more inclusive culture, not just this month but all year round:
Apple released a new watch band and watch face for the Apple Watch at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year in celebration of Pride. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations including Encircle, Gender Spectrum, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Apart from Pride merch, Apple has long supported inclusion and diversity by hiring and advocating on behalf of underrepresented minorities, including LGBTQ+ people. For this, the company has been receiving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for 16 years now — a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.
A culture that is more inclusive unlocks the innovation that fuels the ultimate creativity. Join us as we stand up to support our #LGBTQ team members by celebrating #PrideMonth. https://t.co/e3HMJfVfuq pic.twitter.com/oicJrpOKUi
— Dell Social Impact (@Dell4Impact) June 12, 2019
Since 2002 Dell has been actively participating in and leading initiatives that support the LGBTQ+ community that the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index also deems the company as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality. The company provides healthcare benefits to its LGBTQ+ employees including parental leave, adoption assistance, and gender transition toolkit.
Dell is an active sponsor of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit organization that partners with Top Fortune 500 companies in building resources and hosting events to help other companies around the globe in achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality. This year, Dell also hosted a Pride month training for its Nashville office to help its employees become better allies to the community.
June 4 Google Doodle is a celebration of 50 years of Pride, created by Doodler Nate Swinehart who says, “working on this Doodle was a very personal project for me. As a member of the LBGTQ+ community, I am very familiar with the struggle of feeling included, accepted, and that I am a ‘part’ of this world.” Google also put up Pride Forever, which aims to preserve LGBTQ+ history for future generations by extending the Stonewall National Monument from its physical location in New York City to a digital experience that anyone can access on pride.google.com.
Apart from programs that support minorities, Google has Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies called Gayglers, as well as Trans at Google that seeks to ensure that the company’s products and policy stances are inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.
Instagram recognizes that many of its users are members of the LGBTQ+ community. To celebrate Pride this year, the platform will display relevant hashtags in a rainbow gradient including #lgbtq, #bornperfect, and #pride2019 for a month. Using the hashtags in Stories will also turn the story ring into rainbow instead of Instagram’s gradient.
Instagram is updating gender options for users as well, “to be more inclusive and reflective of how people self-identify today.” There is also an LGBTQ+ teen guide on online well-being and self-care that Instagram created with The Trevor Project.
Like Instagram, Lyft now offers a range of pronoun options to support transgender and non-binary riders. For transitioning drivers, Lyft provides them assistance with changing the name and gender designation on their driver’s license together with the National Center for Transgender Equality. Through its Round Up & Donate feature has donated over $5 million to HRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lyft also has a Gender Inclusion & Affirmation policy created by members of the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, LyftOUT, that lays out comprehensive protections and benefits for its employees.
Later this month Microsoft is releasing a Surface Pro Pride Type Cover designed with and for the LGBTQ+ community, and donating US$ 100,000 to nonprofits in celebration of Pride. For its employees Microsoft has implemented anti-discrimination policies and benefits since 1989. In 1993, they were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex partners. Microsoft is also one of the companies that’s received a perfect score from HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.
To quote Microsoft, “we’ve come far in the last 50 years after Stonewall, but we haven’t gone far enough.” In many countries where tech companies operate, being queer is still a crime and LGBTQ+ rights are still not recognized.
It takes more than just hearing voices of the community to make the world more inclusive and non-discriminatory — individual allies and corporations play a big role in amplifying the movement. Let’s celebrate Pride not just by buying rainbow products that donate to a good cause or using hashtags this month, but also by eliminating bias in everything that we do and pushing for equal rights in the workplace and local communities until we no longer have to.
Apple might bring back the old-school rainbow logo this year
Set to come with select iPhones and iPads
Apple’s logo is one of the most ubiquitous icons of this generation. Both Apple and non-Apple users alike can recognize the half-bitten apple from a mile away. However, before its meteoric rise, Apple’s logo had more colorful beginnings.
In the past, Apple used a rainbow-colored variant for its products. However, Steve Jobs’ iPhone era traded this colorful logo for a minimalist grey apple. The new evolution brought Apple’s branding to a sleeker level. Apple was ready for the new world.
Lately, the siren’s call of nostalgia has resurrected the old world for today. A lot of brands today are calling back to their former roots. Old products and branding return for a breath of new life. Considering this, Apple might bring its old properties back from the grave.
According a leaker from MacRumors, Apple will likely bring the rainbow-colored logo later this year. The old logo will likely come with a flurry of products in the future. Unfortunately, the rumor does not reveal which products will come with the resurrection. Most likely, the logo will adorn a few iPhones and iPads soon.
Of course, a rumor is still just a rumor. MacRumors credits only the tipster’s previous reputation as the rumor’s credibility. Apple has not made an official announcement yet. However, if anything, a few signs have already pointed towards the potential resurrection. For one, Apple has recently renewed the logo’s trademark, ensuring the company’s continued usage over the property. Additionally, a resurrection might even go beyond mere nostalgia. Apple has notably supported gender equality, releasing rainbow-themed merchandise previously.
If anything, signs point to yes. Do you want to bring back old school? Where do you want to see the old logo in?
Inspiring quotes from Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit 2019
Motivation you need to get through the week
The annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit happened this week in Singapore, and the last three days has been nothing short of inspiring. It’s all about women learning from women and empowering women, so if you were not there to hear them yourself then we are here to spread the word.
I don’t know who needs to hear these right now, but here are quotes from some of the amazing women at the summit to help get you through the week.
On being a woman entrepreneur and #girlboss
“Make sure you are purposeful in where you devote your energy; it is not an infinite resource.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
“Not everyone of your employees will like you and those who do will not like you all the time.” Meghan E. Butler, Contributing Writer, Fast Company
“We don’t want our women to have to choose between career and family.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“One of the most difficult responsibilities of a founder is giving your team hope when you have none.” Roz Chow Koo, Founder and CEO, CXA Group
“Still function like a startup even when you are a corporate so you remain nimble.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
On failure, growth, and realizing your potential
“We aren’t so much human beings as we are human becomings, because we are always working on what we will be.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“Failure is simply the opportunity to try again.” Dr. Jemma Green, Co-founder and Chairman, Power Ledger
“You wouldn’t be where you are today if everything had gone to plan. It’s the hardships and the failures that makes the successes so much more meaningful.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
On empowering women
“The generation before mine thought that women did not need to be educated much, just enough to look after the children.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“Under-qualified men are getting jobs that women won’t even apply for. Women are just as smart, talented, and committed but we second guess ourselves we hold ourselves back. We need opportunities to dream big, believe in ourselves, and turn thoughts into action.” Sherry Boger, Infrastructure and Platform Solutions Group Vice President and General Manager, Intel
“Surround yourself with those who lift you up. We can do far more together than we can ever do on our own.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“When we invest in women, we invest in the future; communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose.” Karen Quintos, EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Dell Technologies
“With women still traveling miles to collect clean water, women empowerment can’t take place. When women can’t feel safe on the streets, women empowerment come.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
Huawei is firing hundreds of workers
From their research department in the US
After everything, Huawei should be enjoying its recent influx of good news. Burdened by more than a year’s worth of uncertainty, Huawei was finally freed from America’s serpentine grasp. Recently, US President Donald Trump reversed a landmark ban that would have eventually killed Huawei’s business. Huawei is getting back on track.
However, instead of resting on its laurels, Huawei is still in panic mode. The Chinese company is gearing up for an extensive wave of layoffs in America. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will fire hundreds of employees from a pool of 850 workers. The pink slips will reportedly come from Huawei’s research and development division called Futurewei Technologies.
Additionally, Futurewei’s China-born employees can opt to relocate back to their home country, ensuring their continued employment with the company. Unfortunately, the company’s American employees won’t share the same privilege. Some employees already know about their impending fate. Meanwhile, Huawei is still planning more firings in the future.
Huawei’s recent layoffs stem from the continued pressure by the US government. If the country remains hostile, it’s best to relocate to a safer territory. Besides the loss of jobs, Futurewei’s relocation confirms Huawei’s renewed dedication to keep its future developments under wraps.
Despite the increased optimism, Huawei is still preparing for the worst. The company is building its resistance against geopolitical threats in the future. Unfortunately, we don’t know what this means for Huawei’s future outings yet.
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