Check has doubled over the last four months. While this growth is extremely exciting, it also requires us to be even more thoughtful about how we shape our culture. With over 40 people spread across the US, Check was excited to honor and celebrate Pride month this year. As Check continues to grow rapidly, we look to our team to guide how we can promote authenticity, acceptance, creativity, and growth across our culture. We’ve observed a multitude of important events, including Women’s History Month, Black History Month, and Equal Pay Day. This Pride month, four of us came together to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ team members and allies, called PrideCheck.
To close out our month of celebration, PrideCheck wrote this blog post to capture how we celebrated and to reflect on what pride means to Check team members, who we affectionately call Checketeers.
Celebrating Pride 2021 at Check:
Our pride events at Check had two key objectives:
- Celebrate and honor progress towards equality for all people
- Acknowledge that there is more work to be done and give back
Here are a few of the activities we organized to make progress towards these goals.
Company celebration - We organized a company-wide event where each employee received a colorful wig and a rainbow cookie decorating kit. We got together virtually where we celebrated the progress of equality, and reflected on how much more there is to do. We decorated cookies, listened to queer music, and shared what we were proud of. We also broke into small groups to build stronger relationships with each other and listened to perspectives from each other.
Donation matching - As 2021 continues to be a record year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislations, we recognized that we can and should do more than celebrate our progress thus far. We organized a group donation to Lambda Legal, an established nonprofit that fights for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive people through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Our co-founders Andrew Brown and Vivek Patel generously personally matched employee donations, encouraging donations and allowing us to increase the impact of our donation.
Volunteering with Maven Youth - To keep Pride alive beyond the month of June, we are partnering with Maven Youth to mentor queer youth during the month of July. Maven Youth empowers LGBTQ+ youth to network, organize and educate for social change through technology and the tech sector. We are grateful organizations like Maven Youth support queer youth and we are honored to work with them.
Life at Check:
We are excited to amplify the voices of our company by sharing conversations we had regarding what pride means to them and what makes them feel supported at work.
Amy Troschinetz - Software Engineer based in Oregon.
“To me pride is a protest. It began at Stonewall when black trans women were fed up with being harassed by the police and started throwing rocks. Pride is queer people saying that we're here to stay and we're not going to stand for mistreatment by anyone.
I feel supported at work knowing that my workplace is aware of the issues that affect my life and is willing to take a stand for me and against bigotry. When states where we operate try to enact anti-gay and anti-trans laws, I want our leadership to speak up for us and take action. Standing up to representatives saying that we, as a company, do not support these laws and are willing to put our money where our mouth is.”
Tisha Winfield - Head of Payroll Compliance based in New Jersey.
“Pride is beautifully human. It is my family and friends that have been a part of my life and sometimes shared with me their lives and experiences. I grew up in a simple yet complicated time. If you loved someone, you accepted them for who they were but you still didn't understand their ‘choices’. Not sure how you can really do both?
For me Pride month is a chance for those to publicly share their stories and experiences. It’s similar to how I think about Black History Month. It's a month for me to share moments in time, but it doesn't tell my full story. I'm still Black after February just as folks in the LGBTQ+ community are still part of that community after June. My hope is that we share each other's stories and experiences throughout the year. Because we are all beautifully human.”
Fidel Calderon - Principal Designer based in California.
“I came out 20 years ago, but the difficult memories of that time are still very much burned into my mind. Lots has happened since then—I’ve changed and the public discourse of our right to exist has changed. Pride allows me to stop to acknowledge and reflect on the progress we’ve made as a community and the progress I’ve made as a gay individual.
What I appreciate about Check is that when holding space around topics of diversity and inclusion, everyone is willing to show up and put in the work. It’s a rarity to find a group of people that genuinely care without it feeling performative.”
We are inspired by the influence Pride month has had on our company and our evolving culture at Check. We want to leave you with this message - listen with open ears, lead with compassion, and be yourself each and every day. We too will continue striving towards an inclusive culture for everyone.