Saturday, March 2, 2024

Creating transgender inclusivity in tech culture workplaces

It’s no secret that the tech space is still very much a “bro” culture. This is nothing new, but in this age of increasing calls for inclusivity and diversity, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community, there have been attempts to move the tech industry past this alpha-male-dominated environment.

One area seeing particular attention paid is the transgender community. Although statistics on how many transgender people work in the tech industry are non-existent, there has been a noticeable shift in visibility for trans people in this space. Innovators such as Apple’s Brielle Harrison are blazing new paths for transgender individuals, opening up opportunities in all areas of tech and beyond. 

Representation and support matter 

 As transgender individuals who work for the remote administrative support company Cyberbacker, we have been fortunate to work within the confines of a company that not only touts inclusivity but walks the walk. Stepping into the corporate world, especially within a very cis male-dominated industry, can potentially put transgender people in danger. Safety, security, and mental health wellness are very real concerns for transgender individuals who are living their authentic lives out loud and in the workplace. 

Our unique experience within Cyberbacker started on my first day here. Clients expressed that they wanted to use the correct pronouns during our interactions, which completely set the mood and created a welcoming and comfortable environment. 

Small moves such as respect for pronouns have allowed trans individuals in tech to have increased visibility and representation in the workplace. However, diversity and inclusion don’t end with pronoun acknowledgment. 

 Our company took diversity and inclusion initiatives further, including the LGBTQIA+ community in marketing materials and as “Ambassadors” for the company. In addition, they held a Pride Month celebration, giving members of the LGBTQIA+ community on staff a chance to share their stories if they wished. 

Through our positions, we have witnessed how a tech company could adequately support a member of the trans community on their staff. However, the broader picture for the tech community shows that there is still work to be done to ensure trans safety and security, not to mention a pathway to climbing the corporate ladder. 

Living out loud 

 Many transgender people have lived a life in hiding at some point. According to studies, roughly 2% of the world’s population identify as transgender, gender-fluid, or non-binary. There is no way of knowing how many people are still closeted, fearing living authentically due to historic discrimination and safety concerns. The community is up against unprecedented violence in many ways, which may hamper the journey of some transgender individuals. With increased diversity and inclusion initiatives becoming more of a priority for tech companies, this will help more trans people who wish to work in tech live more authentically. However, there is still a way to go to break the bro-culture stereotype and find a full embrace of the LGBTQIA community within tech. Many trans individuals weigh the pros and cons of ‘coming out’ heavily before doing so, knowing that it may negatively affect their job positions depending on the company. 

 There needs to exist a balance in tech companies where they are focused on robust diversity and inclusion initiatives, and on the success of all employees within their positions, outside of their gender. We are all equally measured by our productivity and effectiveness within our positions. As trans individuals succeed in tech positions, the lines separating them from their peers will eventually fade. 

Improvements in the space 

 Things are improving in tech for the trans community and the LGBTQIA+ community. Recently, Glassdoor — a job website that ranks workplaces — revealed that the LGBTQ community is happiest working for tech companies overall. In addition, tech companies have some of the most welcoming workplaces for LGBTQIA+ employees. People recognize that the pervasive “bro” culture that built tech and has invaded the space for so long may be wearing out its welcome. In this new era, more people from diverse backgrounds can climb the corporate ladder without getting it kicked out from under them.

 The tech space still has some work to do. As trans employees make themselves heard and show how successful they can be for big tech companies, the tides will shift, making “bro culture” and the old ways of operating a thing of the past. 

About the Authors

Em Rodriguez is Vice President of Careers at Cyberbacker, the leading provider of world-class administrative support and virtual assistant services from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world. Rodriguez is an expert in career coaching, talent acquisition, and community building, and she commits to creating an inclusive workplace in her executive leadership role.

Robbie Gallegos is the Vice President of the Launch Division at Cyberbacker, where she is responsible for all event management in addition to improving franchise awareness. Gallegos has deep expertise in event management and sales, and she is passionate about advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

Queer Forty Staff has 2357 posts and counting. See all posts by Queer Forty Staff

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