Out in Tech Core Tenets

The following is intended to transparently share and explain Out in Tech’s core tenets with all of our stakeholders, including our corporate partners.  We believe that embracing them in your organization as well is key as you strive to create LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces.

1. We envision and work towards a tech industry where LGBTQ+ people are empowered, well represented, and have full agency, from intern to CEO. We aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all members of the LGBTQ+ community, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, race, age, religion, belief system, ability and disability, mental health, immigration status, or location.

2. We believe that transgender women are women, transgender men are men, and we recognize non-binary, agender, and third gender classifications. We condemn transphobia in all of its forms and believe that outing a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity without their consent is a human rights violation. There is no LGBTQ+ inclusion without unequivocal support for transgender individuals in organizations and the transgender community.

3. We are committed to advancing inclusion of QTBIPOC (queer, trans, Black, indigenous, and/or people of color) in the tech industry and helping to close the racial wealth gap both through hiring a diverse internal team and an intentional focus on centering QTBIPOC folks in our program design.

4.We believe in community spaces being safe from surveillance and in our members’ right to privacy. We will never share information regarding our members’ sexual orientations, gender identities, or other identity-based attributes with external parties; nor will we share conversations that have taken place privately at in-person and in virtual spaces.

5. We proudly stand behind our code of conduct and are committed to its continuous enforcement at our in-person events and in our virtual spaces to protect our members from harm. When a person breaks it, we commit to taking appropriate action based on the incident levels described at the bottom of the code of conduct. The code of conduct will continue to evolve as we proactively seek feedback from the Out in Tech community.

6. We encourage companies to proactively support, engage, and listen to their LGBTQ+ employees, staying thoughtful about how business decisions may impact employee safety and wellbeing.  When a company fails to proactively initiate these conversations, and employees dissent privately or publicly, we expect companies to take this seriously and give employees access to senior executives for dialogue.

7. Finally, we are committed to supporting our corporate partners as they strive to provide safe environments for their LGBTQ+ employees. We believe that one of the best ways to achieve this is through dialogue, education, and action. We regularly engage with our supporters when they soar and when they stumble, regardless of where they are in their DEI journeys. Examples of actions we often recommend are:          

a. Have strong anti-discrimination policies and LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits
b. Affirm and protect trans and non-binary employees by offering gender-affirming healthcare, encouraging the use of pronouns in signatures and interactions, and having gender-neutral bathrooms.
c. Encourage and invest in employee resource groups for LGBTQ+ people
d. Have flexible remote work and relocation policies for employees in areas where being LGBTQ+ has become unsafe
e. Offer compensation for LGBTQ+ employees who are providing educational and/or informal advisory services within the company on LGBTQ+ issues
f. Provide and encourage a feedback loop between LGBTQ+ employees and senior leadership, not limited to executives on the HR or people team
g. Engage with the local communities where you have offices or concentrations of queer or trans employees – and perhaps also where you don’t.  You can do this via policy, philanthropy, or partnerships.  When reaching out, ask what they need.