Celebrating LGBTQI+ Activists Who Helped Change the World
June is Pride month, dedicated to celebrating LGBTQI+ communities all around the world. It’s also an opportunity to educate and a time to honor those who have left their mark on gay rights activism over the years.
In the 52 years since the original protest, and what is now widely accepted to be the first Pride march – Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970 – Pride events are now attended by millions each year. It is an event that celebrates how far we’ve come, recognizing where we have to go and highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Pride History in Tech
Throughout history, there have been numerous notable and influential LGBTQI+ figures. If we go back a few years and look at tech pioneers from the past, the most famous name is probably Alan Turing, who at the time created what we now know to be modern computer science and is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Alan played a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages during WW2. Yet this bright, humble Cambridge-educated man was persecuted for being gay. In 2009, the UK government made an official public apology for "the appalling way he was treated". Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous pardon in 2013. The "Alan Turing law" is now an informal term for a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts.
More recently in the field of tech and business, titans like Tim Cook, CEO at Apple, Sara Sperling, former head of diversity and inclusion at Facebook, and Angelica Ross, founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, have had a huge and positive impact on the LGBTQI+ community.
They’ve had the courage to come out to their friends, family, colleagues and the tech world and use their platform to make their voice heard, speak out, to educate and to inform. As you will have read in our blog post, our theme this year is #Unmute in honor of all those who speak up on diversity, voices being heard and those yet to be heard.
Having Pride in D&I
In some parts of the world being ‘different’ is frowned upon and in some cases being homosexual is outlawed. It’s clear we still have some way to go but consider how far we have come. Diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at the LGBTQI+ community within our very own sector are emerging more and more. As a people-first organization, diversity and inclusion is part and parcel of who we are at Unit4. The company is committed to ensuring equal opportunity for everyone. Together, we continue to build an inclusive culture that encourages and celebrates the diversity of our employees, where everyone is valued. We guarantee a fair consideration for employment, without discrimination. Our recruiting team are trained on unconscious bias recruiting techniques so always have an open mind to diversity and hiring the right talent for Unit4.
Leading the Charge
All communities benefit from influential role models to encourage and inspire the next generation. Amplifying the voices of role models from minority groups in tech will encourage more people to speak out and feel accepted for who they are so we can increase diversity in the tech talent pool. At Unit4, we welcome the opportunity to learn, improve and educate our industry on diversity and inclusion and lead the charge on being a positive influence within the tech and business environment we work in ensuring that everyone thrives by being who the really are.