Empowering LGBT Employees: GoDaddy Raises the Bar

By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre

In recent years, a tremendous shift has taken place in attitudes toward support for same-sex marriage and gay rights. At the same time, nearly half of LGBT employees still don’t feel comfortable enough to come out at work.

According to research by the Center for Talent Innovation, that’s a problem, both for the company and the closeted workers. The daily stress of keeping that secret can cause closeted employees to feel dissatisfied, depressed, distracted and exhausted. Closeted employees are 40 percent less likely to trust their employers and 73% more likely than their out peers to leave their jobs.

At the same time, there is a lot of positive news for LGBT workers. More companies than ever are offering LGBT-friendly benefits, and non-discrimination policies are expanding. With the LGBT marketplace growing, more companies are recognizing the need to include the diverse perspectives of openly LGBT employees. GoDaddy is one employer at the forefront of this effort.

GoDaddy, like many award-winning companies, goes to great lengths to be sure all employees are respected and can achieve their full potential. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are increasingly popular as a way to support diverse employees.

GoDaddy’s UNITED ERG supports their LGBT and allied workforce. UNITED is designed to ensure within the walls of the company, EVERYONE is able to be themselves and feel safe and informed with regard to issues relating to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

Tyler Kinnie, the President of UNITED, explains “All of our Employee Groups are grassroots style launches and driven by a need identified among employees.” The grassroots effort is supported by senior leadership. Tyler Wirtjes, Vice President of Global Customer Care, is a partner in this effort. Says Kinnie, “He has been a great champion in amplifying diversity and inclusion in our company. He participates in our events with his family and shares a wealth of information around strategy for growing UNITED’s reach in GoDaddy and into the community.”

The mix of employee effort and leadership advocacy is demonstrated both inside and outside the company. Internally, PRIDE identifies opportunities for GoDaddy to engage LGBT consumers and recruit LGBT employees, as well as offering education for employees on LGBT & Allied topics. Externally, UNITED participates in the local community through pride parades, festivals, and guest speakers.

Kinnie is proud of UNITED and happy to be with GoDaddy. “I am fortunate enough to work in Recruiting at GoDaddy as well as being part of UNITED. I am over the moon when someone will ask about LGBT support and benefits at GoDaddy. I tell them ‘I know about these first hand, I am the President of our LGBT & Allied employee group’. Working with my team on this employee group has been inspiring, exciting and affirms that GoDaddy truly is an amazing place to work.”

Ambassadors like Kinnie have strengthened GoDaddy’s appealing employer brand. Kinnie elaborates: “GoDaddy is helping small businesses flourish and it is providing a safe, challenging and fun environment for its teams to grow. That is one heck of a combination, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Sounds pretty awesome to us!  Learn more about GoDaddy’s cultureawards, and career opportunities.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.

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