Hootsuite uses feedback from LGBTQIA+ employees to inform its benefits package

Social media management organisation Hootsuite, which employs around 1,000 people, has implemented a range of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual and more (LGBTQIA+)-friendly initiatives. These include a restructuring of employee benefits, with increased coverage for mental health, fertility treatment, and gender affirmation surgeries, and the establishment of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) council, comprising employees and allies from diverse groups, to promote DE&I at Hootsuite and strengthen the sense of belonging for all employees.

Paul Dhillon, director of total rewards at Hootsuite, says: “Employees have been reaching out to our total rewards team, speaking to our team via slack or video chats, and providing feedback in our regular engagement surveys. We also proactively seek to understand, build and provide benefits to various DE&I groups and individuals, including our employees in the LGBTQIA+ community. This way we learn more about the DE&I initiatives that people want to see continue or implemented.”

The organisation has embedded the statement of personal pronouns into introductory calls, levelling the playing field across all gender identities. It shares events such as Pride, Black History Month and International Women’s Day in Slack so that employees can share their stories and rally around each other, and has developed a DE&I calendar that tracks events across all cultures, religions and backgrounds, to foster support and spark conversations around important topics in society.

Last year, Hootsuite created new employee resource groups to strengthen its internal and external DE&I work and connect with employees with lived experiences across underrepresented groups. These include members from the respective community as well as allies, who are valued as changemakers across the whole organisation.

Gabriela Jordão, manager of DE&I at Hootsuite, says: “For our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group specifically, the executive sponsor is Maggie Lower, Hootsuite’s chief marketing officer, alongside Christine Buck, VP of product marketing and brand. Our employee resource groups have been instrumental in creating a greater sense of connection, boosting engagement with employees in these communities, and sharing empathy across Hootsuite’s workforce.”