The final of our CLEAR values, Respect Every Person, is foundational to our mission of making and keeping Clearlink a truly diverse and inclusive place to work. Respect is at the very core of inclusion, it is what moves us from simply tolerating to embracing others for who they really are. When a person feels respected by their peers, their leader, and by senior leadership, they are able to feel a sense of belonging and thrive in their careers. We do more than just talk about respect, we make sure it is built into everything we do.
We ensure our people feel respected right from the start by implementing preferred names across all systems and technology. We don’t want someone to have to type a name that they no longer identify with every time they need to log in to something; they should be greeted in a way that reflects who they really are and welcomes them as their true selves. It wasn’t always like this — after hearing from our people how important this was to them, our IT teams dedicated their focus and time to review and reconfigure systems across the board to make sure every person felt the respect they deserve.
Another way we live this value is through our benefit offerings. Our benefits team is always looking for ways to add value for our people, especially in things that can make a meaningful difference in someone’s life. One demonstrative example is that we cover gender affirmation surgery. This benefit can make all the difference in someone’s life, helping them to appear outwardly the way they feel inside and, hopefully, can make a significant impact on their quality of life.
We know that while it is important that our systems and policies are inclusive, if we aren’t ensuring that lived experience matches our people’s expectations and they don’t feel like they have the spaces needed for the things that matter to them, we would be falling short of our commitments. That is part of the reason why we gave our people Juneteenth off, so that they could not only observe that important day taking place amidst the BLM movement of 2020, but also so that they could participate in events or learning opportunities centered around racial equality. Unfortunately, there were some teams that couldn’t take the day off due to operational conflicts, so in lieu of the time off, we gave them each a gift card to a Black-owned bookstore and recommended an Anti-Racist reading list.
Another way we help promote respect for all is by volunteering at the Pride Festival every year. For the past seven years, we’ve had people march, fundraise, and work a booth at the festival. This has been a great way for our LGBTQ+ employees and allies to get involved in something that is so deeply important for the community and our culture. These days have also been a great way for us to recruit LGBTQ+ candidates and allies that help ensure Clearlink stays a safe and accepting place to work. It is inspiring to see such a large group of our people celebrating inclusivity each and every year.