LGBTQIA+ leaders – Emre Celik from Google
WHAT DOES PRIDE MEAN TO YOU?
"It means Belonging. When we all come together and celebrate and value our differences and similarities as a group. When there is no you and me based on an individual of any identity. When we proudly recognize our full humanity."
What makes you feel empowered in the workplace?
"When I can be my authentic self at work without the fear of discrimination."
How can colleagues be allies in the workplace?
"I want people to think even beyond allyship (I am not affected, I stand up for others) How can you be an accomplice ( I fight the fight because I am affected by heteronormativity)? An accomplice uses their privilege to challenge existing conditions at the risk of their own comfort."
What can businesses do to empower the LGBTQIA+ community?:
"Define a clear mission for supporting LGBTQIA+ in the workplace, take LGBTQIA+ discrimination at the workplace seriously. Give back and support the local LGBTQIA+ Communities."
Who is your role model, and why?
"My Turkish mother. She is a real role model when it comes to relearning things. The social environment in which we grow up shapes and biases our perception of our own identity. Who am I, how am I. All these questions are hardly given any room for questioning if, like me, you grow up in a strongly heteronormative, almost patricharian structure. She asks the right questions in the process of my personality development, never cut off my wings and let me fly. Without her, I wouldn't be where I am today."
Advice to your younger self:
"Be your authentic self always and everywhere. Growing up in a low-income, migrant Muslim family and being queer, it takes a lot to understand that the reality created around you is not the one that reflects your identity. Relearn what you have learned about what is right and what is wrong. Connect this to your own needs and become your authentic self."