- Inclusion in the workplace should extend to people of all backgrounds. But companies have to proactively address fostering inclusion in all levels of their organization.
- Unified communications can give workers everywhere a voice and a chance to be heard.
- In celebration of Pride Month, we at RingCentral are honoring our LGBTQIA+ employees and communities around the world.
Some moments really change the world. One such moment was 52 years ago this month when the New York City Public Morals Division raided the Stonewall Inn, one of the most popular gay bars in Greenwich Village.
Such raids were the norm in that era. Back then, many New York City gay bars didn’t have liquor licenses—in New York state, it was illegal to serve alcohol to a gay person until 1966. It was also illegal to wear more than three items of “gender inappropriate” clothing. As such, it wasn’t remarkable for police to target these establishments.
But Stonewall proved to be different.
This time, alongside Greenwich residents and patrons of other gay bars in the neighborhood, they fought back in an uprising that would last days—and give birth to the LGBTQIA+ movement.
One year later, New York City marked its first Pride Parade and Gay Pride Week. Half a century later, we’re still celebrating that momentous night—and all the progress made towards equality and inclusivity since. But we also know the job isn’t nearly done.
We all have a role to play in promoting inclusivity and diversity. But at RingCentral we really take that onus to heart. We strive to not only be the best workplace for our employees but also believe that communications technology plays a big role in promoting acceptance in workplaces everywhere. Here’s how.
Making diverse workplaces more inclusive
Many companies take explicit action to attract and hire employees of different ages, races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual preferences, and so on. And it’s generally a great approach for employers and employees alike.
But the truth is, simply hiring people from different backgrounds isn’t enough to really improve diversity in the workplace.
For that to happen, companies need to focus on fostering inclusion—finding ways for all employees to have their voices heard and grow more opportunities for diversity at all levels of the organization.
Unified communications is an important enabler of inclusion, especially over the last year of working from home during the pandemic. And such tools will continue to play an important role as hybrid companies become more distributed and flexible than in the past.
Giving all employees a voice
A specific challenge many employees faced during the pandemic was visibility. Without face time in the office, how might workers stay on their bosses’ radars or have their voices heard? As the need to balance the personal and professional necessitated shifts in people’s work routines, many wondered whether their bosses would understand and accommodate them. How could those who identify as LGTBQ+ continue to feel seen and heard with everyone working remotely?
These are concerns we have continuously worked hard to address, and both our platform and our culture are part of our ongoing work to make RingCentral an equal, inclusive, and understanding workplace for all.
How we’re building a better workplace at RingCentral
Effective communication and collaboration are core values here at RingCentral, and we use our messaging, video, and phone system to enable all of our work. But it’s also how we build connections and understanding with our coworkers, creating an openness that permeates every level of our organization.
One of the ways we do this is with messaging teams in the RingCentral app. In these teams, users can discuss topics, share links and articles, post photos, and celebrate wins. We use this for all our projects—and we also use messaging teams to bring together our workers with several teams for LGBTQIA+ employees and initiatives.
In this virtual world, we’re also using RingCentral to celebrate and mark Pride Month—looking at both how far we’ve come and the progress we still need to make—via events and conversations for our whole workforce.
Here are some of the events we’ve hosted so far in Pride Month:
1. Rainbow Room Panel
Our Rainbow Panel family members from around the world share their personal journeys with fellow colleagues. Their stories inspired us to speak out and leave the session with more love in our hearts.
2. RuPaul Drag Race Quiz Night
Here at RingCentral, we have RuPaul fans all around the globe. So our host Jason Lane, Sr. Employee Experience Business Partner, tapped into his drag alter ego to test everyone’s knowledge of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Our winners hailed from the UK, US, and the Philippines!
3. RingCentral Drag Show
Our Rainbow Room ERG celebrated Pride with a blowout drag show performance! Employees from all over the world donned their drag and gave us a spectacular night of looks while colleagues cheered them on. All in the spirit of acceptance and pride.
A more equal community, together
Here at RingCentral, success isn’t just about business results. It’s every bit as important to have a culture where every employee feels valued and recognized—and knows that their unique voice and identity make our workplace a richer one. This includes creating an open and equal space where our LGBTQIA+ members can embrace their identities.
The move to remote and hybrid workplace models is certainly giving unified communications a moment. But the potential goes far beyond simply getting our jobs done. Because behind our skills and dedication to our work, we’re all humans—and our goal, both for ourselves and our customers, is simply to create better connections between people. Happy Pride!
Originally published Jun 21, 2021, updated Jul 11, 2021