Why equality matters at the workplace
We’re in the middle of Helsinki Pride week and because of that, many people are thinking about equality a bit more than usual. That is good since nothing good in this world progresses without thought, be it code or human rights.
For me, the story begins when I was 10 years old and first felt that I did not belong, I did not fit in, I did not relate to my friends nor did I feel like a boy or a girl. You can imagine how much that will confuse a child.
Later on when I was 15, I bought my first 56k dial-up modem which came with an installation disk with which you could install the internet on your computer. I bet some of you still remember these weird internet installation disks and also remember the incredible screeching sound when you connected to said internet and managed to wake everyone in the house. It was glorious. You had the world at the tip of your fingers and all that information was yours to explore.
This was a time in my life when, at the incredible speed of 56 kilobits per second, I found terms that would later define me and explain to me, why at the tender age of 10 I felt something that no child should feel. Reading about intergender people, non-binary people, queer people and so forth, gave me the words and the means to reflect my life and my feelings. This loud old dial-up modem allowed me to define myself and build an identity which I so had craved all my life, and then go into a very deep closet with this identity.
What makes a good workplace?
Imagine a new workplace where everyone is different from you. I’m sure many of us have felt insecure and even unsafe in some environments. You’re not sure where to go and what to do. Perhaps you do or say something that the people there will not like? Will you be judged and shunned? No one wants that as we humans have a desire to belong and be a part of something. We’re social creatures and want safety and stability, no matter who we are or what we identify as. Working at a place where you would feel insecure and unsafe would be stressful, wouldn’t it?
Exove is perhaps the first place for me, where I have felt like I don’t need to be afraid of judgement, and where I am seen as a person whose gender and sexuality does not matter. The only thing that matters is if I know how to build a well functioning website. I do not need to stress every time I go to the restroom. I do not need to stress every time I talk with someone. I do not need to be afraid of judgemental eyes at the coffee machine. It’s these small things that most people do not actively think about every day, that can make or break my day.
My day has not been broken even once while I have been working at Exove.
Equality? What is that?
In the end, we’re all very much alike. We have more in common with one another than not, but it is easier to focus on the differences than the similarities when judging and labelling others. That in mind, what exactly is equality? The meaning of that word changes depending on who is asking and who is answering, but in the end, equality is a big issue built on several small sacrifices and actions. This is why it is so important that there are companies like Exove, that truly care about these smaller things that build the big picture and tackle the huge issue that inequality is.
It is these companies that are carving a good place for people like me, a place where no matter your background and identity, we can all work safely, be part of something good and make this world a tiny bit better for everyone by making sure that closets are only for clothes.