When I was growing up, the adults in my life rooted for me. They applauded my stage debut in the fifth- grade play. For years they loudly cheered my athletic abilities -- albeit abysmal -- on the baseball diamond. And they genuinely marveled at my unsolicited manuscript of a Hardy Boys-type mystery, a first draft by a pre-teen wannabe writer.
It was the kind of support that grounded me, let me know that despite the chaos and turmoil and anxiety that so many of us were going through on any given day, I was doing OK.
Through the years it was the kind of support that lets you see a future, that sets you up for success. Steadies you as you grow. I could be whatever I wanted to be. Famous, perhaps. Maybe even change the world.
What about you? Do you remember your dreams and those who rooted for you? I bet there were times we all thought we could do big things and maybe change the world.
Fast forward to today. Seemingly daily, headlines, talk shows, and social media share stories about our young people facing adults who inexplicably aren’t rooting for them. Who tell them they may not, in fact, be who they want to be. That they do not have the free choice to be and live as who they authentically are. Consider that certain laws aim to exclude transgender athletes from school sports, prohibit access to gender-affirming medical care, or even criminally charge parents for even seeking transgender care for their own children.
These could be your kids. Your closest friends’ kids. The kids who pray with yours at church or play with yours on the soccer pitch.
These are also the kids you will one day be heavily recruiting to work for you.
GenderCool: Taking PRIDE in Supporting Our Youth
At UKG, our purpose is people
In the UKG people-centric culture, we root for kids and fairness for all. And we’re rooting hard for The GenderCool Project. As a company, we are proud to support this amazing youth-led movement that’s bringing positive change to the world.
GenderCool’s teenage Champions are transgender and non-binary youth who are helping to reshape the misinformed opinions some have of the transgender and non-binary community by sharing positive experiences and interactions. GenderCool provides resources essential to helping families better understand what comes next and provides a community of love and support for those that want to do the best for their kids.
The UKG gold-level partnership with The GenderCool Project demonstrates our commitment to supporting all families, while helping create a more inclusive workplace for trans and non-binary U Krewers. Our PRIDE employee resource group (ERG) — one of our largest and most active ERGs fostering belonging and inclusion for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies — is partnering with GenderCool to bring curated support for U Krewer parents of trans and non-binary children. This includes activities like quarterly virtual hangouts and real-time events about trending LGBTQIA+ topics.
Why involvement and awareness are important
Melissa Shore, vice president of employee experience at UKG and the executive sponsor of PRIDE puts it this way: “In a world where we are balancing so many priorities, we often don’t make the time or have the resources to support a shift in thinking on something new and different to us. Our partnership with GenderCool provides amazing ways for us to better understand a growing future workforce segment and support our existing families with community and resources.”
I am proud to work at UKG, a company that embraces all people. Our culture celebrates everyone’s humanity and individuality and embraces the diversity of the 15,000 U Krewers and their families globally. As a gay man, I’m the “G” in the LGBTQIA+ community and am honored to root for my transgender and non-binary friends. We aren’t seven-plus communities, we’re one.
Support for one means support for us all. If it doesn’t start with us, then who? If not now, then when?
Interested in joining the U Krew? Explore careers at UKG.
Learn more about UKG’s employee resource groups (ERGs).
Find out how UKG is building an inclusive environment for all people.