Post by Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada
Every year I stand alongside Team Canada as we walk the streets of Toronto to support the incredible month of Pride! This year, COVID-19 has us celebrating a bit differently but not any less. We joined our colleagues at Corp. virtually on Teams for a kick-off and a few of our employees socially distanced to raise our Pride flag as we do every year! Microsoft started its inclusion journey (watch video below) in 1989. By 1993 we were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex partners. Today, we operate in over 120 countries. While we are proud of what we have done to date, we know there is still a ways to go!
If recent times teach us anything, it’s the importance of having uncomfortable conversations that lead to greater understanding and drive change—the importance of acting now. The pandemic has not made it any easier to address injustice, but it does not stop us from engaging in the important dialogues that must be had.
The GLEAM (Global LGBTQI+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft) community decided that although many of us are distancing and apart, a dialogue is still something we can have together. A dialogue that comes with hope for a better road ahead. Please take a moment to follow our social platforms for GLEAM ally and member features as they express themselves on inclusion and the many misconceptions the community faces.
Pride month gives us an opportunity to drive our individual self-reflection, have open dialogues to develop a deeper understanding, and drive learning, allyship, and change. I encourage all of you to join me in creating safe spaces for acceptance, understanding and inclusion. Remember the more we talk, the more we understand.