At ITJ, diversity and inclusion are intrinsic values within our culture. We have built a diverse community with members from various backgrounds that are celebrated for their unique life experiences, perspectives, and preferences. We are proud of the richness of culture that this diversity creates in our everyday environment, and the perspective and values that every member of our company brings to the table.
During LGBTQ Pride Month, we honor this community and the impact its members have had on the fight for equal rights, work safety and inclusion, and the celebration and respect of all sexual orientation. In spite of the celebration, there is a long way to go for equal rights for the LGBT community.
Pride is celebrated every June in honor of the Stonewall Uprising, which took place on June 28th 1969 in Manhattan after NY police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Grenwich Village. The raid set off a riot and became a catalyst for the gay rights movement around the world.
A year after the Stonewall Uprising and from then on, Pride has become a celebration in which marches and parades have transformed the event from a memorial to their current embodiment as colorful celebrations. Pride parades commemorate the past while serving as acts of resistance against those seeking to deprive the LGBTQ community of the rights it has fought so hard to gain.
In spite of the celebration and advances that the LGBT movement has broken through, there is still a long way to go. Homosexuality is still illegal in 35% of UN member states and fewer than 30 countries recognize same-sex marriage. In many parts of the world, it is still ilegal to donate blood if you have a same sex partner. Same-sex activity can be a capital offense in Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Only 28 countries around the world have legalized same-sex marriages.
At ITJ, we are proud to hold members of the LGBT community within our staff. We believe every person’s value should be respected and maintained, independent of their sexual orientation. We have found diversity in our teams to be a source of creativity, resourcefulness and problem-solving, and we aren’t the only ones. Josh Bersin recently found that companies that hold standards of inclusivity are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in innovation, no matter the market. When team members feel accepted and respected, projects and companies thrive. Deloitte Australia’s research also shows that inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. Our own experience has shown that cultivating an inclusive and respectful environment brings out the best in our team members and colleagues.
Though the fight for equal rights that Pride month represents is far from over, we will continue to communicate our stance through our decisions at ITJ by establishing a LGBT internal community that helps create a sense of awareness with workshops, talks and other activities that support inclusion and diversity within the company.
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