Celebrating Pride Month All Year

by Katie Juran

posted on 06-12-2018

At Adobe, we believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or any other quality that makes them who they are. When people feel appreciated and included, they can be more creative, innovative and successful. We’re excited for Pride month – a celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals in the community and here at Adobe. Our LGBTQ+ colleagues are an essential part of our company, contributing across every level, geography and function.

But it goes beyond what we believe and have experienced in our own work environment; there is a wealth of compelling evidence about the power of diversity to drive better decision-making, innovation and business results.

One of my favorite articles is from Harvard Business Review about why diverse teams are smarter. I especially love the study they reference from Northwestern University, where newcomers were added to small homogenous teams and asked to solve a murder mystery. The teams where the newcomer came from a different group than the other members were less confident, but more accurate in their conclusions! That is powerful to think about: We all feel comfortable working with people like ourselves, because it’s easy. But integrating those people unlike ourselves into a team dynamic gives an edge that has been proven time and again. Those who don’t embrace diversity are going to get left behind.

AdobeProud

Of course, it’s one thing to hire diverse employees; it’s another to help them feel connected and valued so they stay with you. For our LGBTQ+ community at Adobe, the heart of community is our AdobeProud Network. AdobeProud hosts internal and cross-company mixers, volunteer events and awareness-raising sessions for our LGBTQ+ employees and allies. Our most recent chapter just started this year in India. In three months, they have generated a strong base of members, hosted webinars on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, and engaged with over 200 LGBTQ+ and ally employees at their recent interactive theater event with professional actors that highlighted stereotypes and biases. The power of starting small with intention is exciting, and we can’t wait to join Pride in India for the first time in the fall.

The biggest highlights of the year for our AdobeProud Network are the Pride Parades! This month, Adobe employees will march in San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, New York and Dublin. Later this year we’ll join in Ottawa and India. Our first march in Salt Lake City on June 2 drew more than 300 Adobe employees and family members with the rallying cry “Adobe For All.” (See the great photo above from that day.)

Supporting Family and Gender Identity

Beyond building community, we have made significant investments in benefits for our LGBTQ+ employees. We offer equal benefits coverage for same-sex spouses and domestic partners. For employees wishing to have children, we reimburse up to $25,000 for each adoption (maximum of two); we reimburse for nonmedical surrogacy expenses up to $25,000 (maximum of two); and we offer a wide range of fertility benefits through our medical plan.

For employees wishing to undergo gender reassignment, we cover it just like any other medical condition. We cover costs including surgery, medications, hair reconstruction/removal and voice/communication therapy. That places us at the forefront in supporting employees through this difficult and important chapter in their lives.

Advancing Inclusion

We are proud of our efforts to support our LGBTQ+ employees, and employees of all backgrounds. But we know there is always more we can do. We ask our employees for feedback through what we call the “Check-in Survey” – a pulse to ask employees what is going well and what could be better. This year, we’ve added more questions about employees’ experience with their managers, teams and company relative to their sense of respect, belonging and commitment to diversity. The results are just rolling out now, and we will keep fine tuning to ensure we’re doing everything we can to make Adobe a place for all.

To our LGTBQ+ employees and the community around us: we’re proud of you and want you to achieve your full potential. Enjoy this special month, and onward.

Topics: Diversity & Inclusion, Community

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