At Oyster, we believe that to make a difference, we should celebrate our differences.
It’s why we’re so passionate about making it possible for companies everywhere to hire anywhere and build diverse teams. When a company allows diverse workstyles and lifestyles to thrive, people become empowered to be their most authentic selves at work—which leads to a more accepting and equal world of work.
Yet for LGBTQIA+ people around the world, living authentically is not always a reality. The ongoing struggle for equal rights and protection against discrimination remains a global battle, as people everywhere are under attack for who they are.
Our distributed team is made up of 600+ folks across 70+ countries, which means not every Oyster lives in a region where they feel safe to love and live authentically. While we can’t change laws in each country, we can create a more inclusive workplace, stand firmly against discrimination, and lift up our LGBTQIA+ colleagues—so they can bring their whole selves to work, without worry.
🌈 No matter where you are in the world, how you identify, or who you love, you are welcome at Oyster.
June marks Pride Month, a month for recognizing the LGBTQIA+ community and their continued fight for equal rights. Here’s how our globally distributed team is celebrating Pride this month and our LGBTQIA+ Oysters year-round.
Building safe spaces
At Oyster, we’ve created a culture of belonging where everyone on our distributed team is seen, heard, and valued. That being said, it’s still essential for us to carve out safe spaces that increase psychological safety for minority groups that might otherwise feel vulnerable or uncomfortable.
Our LGBTQIA+ Slack channel serves as a safe space for global acceptance and support. There, LGBTQIA+ Oysters and allies can comfortably share personal stories of queer joy, voice their struggles and concerns, and even chat about media with authentic representation (favorites here include Netflix’s Heartstopper and Amazon Prime’s A League of Their Own!).
We’re also working on creating a Pride affinity group! Affinity groups are employer-recognized groups designed to support people from historically excluded communities. Our Pride affinity group aims to promote the inclusion and professional development of LGBTQIA+ folks in the workplace.
Sharing knowledge (and the love, too)
Pride goes far beyond parades and rainbows. While it’s definitely a time for celebration and joy, it’s also a time of reflection on the courageous activism of the past and the global fight for equal rights today.
Since knowledge is power, this year we’re celebrating Pride with a week-long Pride-theme knowledge share on Slack. Members of our LGBTQIA+ community have volunteered to share information about the Stonewall riots, Pride history around the world, personal experiences of being queer, and LGBTQIA+ contributions to the arts.
This knowledge share event not only brings us closer together as a team, but also amplifies the LGBTQIA+ voices on our team that make us diverse and extraordinary. Together, we’re embracing the spirit of Pride and creating an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and celebrated.
Working and learning together
Our knowledge share doesn’t end at Slack, however. Our team continues to educate each other by sharing diverse resources, ranging from book recs to educational podcasts to charities. Looking to do the same with your team? Check out our list below as a jumping-off point!
The queer history book list: Discover these nonfiction books on the LGBTQIA+ movement that point to a more liberated future.
Must-read queer literary fiction: Prefer fiction instead? Check out these classic and contemporary queer literature recommendations!
Queer books in translation: Get a more global perspective with these novels featuring LGBTQIA+ protagonists from around the world.
TEDTalks: Prepare to be deeply moved and enlightened by these powerful, personal stories on identity and queer love.
Paris is Burning: This landmark documentary about 1980s ballroom culture features legendary drag queens, voguers, and trans women.
The best LGBTQIA+ podcasts: Tune in to these insightful discussions and diverse perspectives.
Spotify GLOW: Spotify’s new global music program celebrates LGBTQIA+ artists and favorites.
InterPride calendar: Help advance the global Pride movement at these events happening worldwide.
OutRight International: Donate or take action with this organization that aims to end persecution and violence faced by LGBTQIA+ people around the world.
Prioritizing inclusion year-round
Diversity and inclusion is far more than a buzzword. We strive to be truly diverse and inclusive on a global scale and provide an equitable employee experience—no matter who you are or where you’re from.
That’s why we’re continuously refining our inclusion statement that communicates how we want to show up for the LGBTQIA+ community as a company. (Stay tuned: You’ll see it on our website soon!)
We’re also developing a tactical guide for Oysters on creating an inclusive environment for others. Some tips include sharing pronouns on profiles and following inclusive language best practices to avoid othering or excluding anyone.
🌈 Did you know? Diversity and inclusion was listed as one of the top five most important factors for workers in our Employee Expectations Report. Learn more here!
The category is: Loud & Proud!
At the heart of our mission is the belief that everyone should be able to be their authentic selves, so we can thrive together. Our philosophy is that a company can only be truly inclusive if everyone feels they belong. Where we don’t only acknowledge, but actively celebrate our differences, because the world is a big and beautiful place—and so is Oyster!
Wherever you are, whoever you love, and however you identify, we wish you a safe and happy Pride! 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️