Blog post by Isa Notermans, Global Director Diversity & Belonging, together with Cassiano Mecchi, EMEA Diversity & Belonging Lead.
Celebrating Pride is a big deal at Spotify, and we take part as the celebrations move around the world, through all the locations where we have offices. We honor it on the Spotify platform and Spotifiers who identify as LGBTQ+ partner with their colleagues to run grassroots-led local activities, from an “all you ever wanted to ask a gay guy” kind of info session to debates on being out in a multicultural workplace; from artist performances to parties. In some places, we have hundreds of employees who march with allies and families alongside our float in local Pride Parades. In other locations, we have to keep the celebration behind closed doors to prioritize our employees’ and allies’ safety and security. But wherever we are we celebrate and uplift LGBTQ+ people through events and activations, together with the local community.
Love is Loud
Pride gives power to voices that have often gone unheard and challenges all of us to reconsider our assumptions about the LGBTQ+ community. It lets us play our part in driving forward positive change – like when our trans colleagues openly discussed their needs with regards to health coverage in the USA, and we listened to them. At Spotify, we believe in amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups in every way we can, and Pride celebrations provide a multitude of opportunities to do just that. In NYC, we not only threw a fundraising party with 300+ attendees for a local charity but also took part in the British Consul General of New York LGBTQ+ Roundtable in partnership with LGBTQ+ owned and run businesses, to discuss and debate around topics like rainbow washing and the importance of intersectionality. What came out of the conversation was that this work is never done, and as a business, we must not fall victim to the “once a year tokenization of Pride” but rather use this as a momentum builder for all the work we need to continue to do together.
50 years after Stonewall
The 2019 Pride season was special, as it marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, which is considered by many to be the most important event leading to the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights. So it was with even more enthusiasm and determination than usual that Spotifiers all around the world took on the celebrations this year. We added great new content to the Pride Hub on our platform. The 2019 content went live in each market as its Pride celebrations took off, to be enjoyed the whole year by users all over the world.
Serious business, fun, and games
As the pride season closed in most of the world, we appreciated all the love we felt and the fun we had. We extended our thoughts to those who cannot yet express their pride, and we spent a moment to ponder the challenge of (still) having to discuss everyone’s equal right to their own love and expression.
And we brought everything we learned and experienced back into our day-to-day – like encouraging our colleagues to openly share their pronouns as a way to normalize the conversation on gender identity. Because at Spotify, we’re full of pride throughout the entire year.
And while we joyfully celebrate Pride months across the globe we are also very proud of the everyday moments we have between these months that really make us shine; whether it is by adding an intersectional lens on what content we highlight on our platform, or by making sure our benefit offers work for everyone, things that make Pride feel like an ever blasting soundwave and not just a moment in time.
Signing off on yet another Happy Pride Season, with love.
Pride celebrations at Spotify happen thanks to the tremendous engagement and dedication of a large number of people across the organization, some do it as a part of their day-to-day, but many also do it on time that they and their managers have graciously set aside out of their ordinary jobs. These efforts mean so much to so many, and we are forever grateful.