One of the great things about working at CircleCI is that the company believes that everyone should be able to be their whole self at work. Inclusivity, demonstrating trust and respect, and making sure everyone has the tools and support they need are all buried deep in the culture here – it is a big part of how we deliver the best value for our customers. With that in mind, the company recently rolled out a new healthcare policy for our transgender co-workers. In a first for companies in the CI/CD space, CircleCI now offers fully-compensated paid leave for employees recovering from transition-related medical procedures. This policy is an extremely important addition to CircleCI’s benefits package and another example of the company’s dedication to the well-being of all employees.
Transition is an immensely stressful process, and the medical procedures required to treat the dysphoria experienced by some transgender people often need a very careful approach to recovery.
The goal of the policy is to make sure that transgender employees feel supported during this difficult time, and by ensuring that transgender employees have access to appropriately compensated medical leave, the company can remove major sources of unnecessary stress. This way, we can return to work happier, healthier, and better able to do our best for our customers and our colleagues.
How this policy came together
The push for the formalization of these benefits grew out of the efforts of many individuals. Together, the trans employees at CircleCI discussed the issue amongst ourselves, our managers, and other stakeholders who supported us in bringing the topic to our executive team. By building consensus, both within the trans population at the company and our cisgender colleagues, we were able to successfully advocate for a formalization of, and a commitment to, this industry-leading trans healthcare benefit. QueerSphere, the Employee Resource Group here at CircleCI for LGBTQIA+ employees, helped coordinate the effort to advocate, and the result was a policy that helps ensure trans employees get the support we need.
One of the best things for me about working at CircleCI is how empowered I feel to call attention to issues or practices that can be improved and bring people together to work on them, to the benefit of both the company as a whole and underrepresented or marginalized employees. Trans people face systemic bias: there are no federal-level protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the United States, and of the trans population surveyed by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015, 80% of those who were employed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or had to take steps to avoid those hostile workplace behaviors.
I know firsthand how difficult being out at work can be. At a previous employer early in my transition, I felt alienated and disliked by colleagues who had previously been friendly before they knew I was transgender. I have had to minimize the fact that I’m trans, tolerate active hostility from coworkers, or pretend that I was cisgender, in order to protect my job.
At CircleCI, I have felt supported, respected, and able to confidently be myself. I feel exceptionally fortunate to have a wonderful group of transgender colleagues and friends (we make up 7% of the engineering department at CircleCI, and 3% of the org in total, compared to 0.6% of the general population), and to work somewhere where our views and experiences are valued at the highest levels of the organization.
If you like the sound of working somewhere with a remote-first culture and collaborating on interesting problems with a bunch of other trans folx and allies, check out our openings here.