Transifex: Zero Tolerance for Discrimination & Injustice

Dimitris Glezos
July 22, 2020
6 min read

stop discrimination

Transifex was founded with the mission to break down language barriers and create a united world by making localization accessible to everyone. Our mission remains the same over a decade later. These values have acted as our guiding north star in how we build our products and how we conduct ourselves as teammates, partners, citizens, and, above all, fellow humans. 

Given the current climate, I wanted to make public an email I shared internally with our team addressing the recent events and where we stand as a company. Our goal in sharing this is to commit to these words and values not only internally as a team but to our community publicly, as well. Following the email, we’ve also shared the steps we’re taking to do better as a team.

“Team, I want to talk about what is happening in our world right now and why this is important for Transifex. I have debated whether I should speak out, and as I’m reflecting on the severity of the events, I feel compelled to speak up.

First, the death of George Floyd was no corner-case incident. We’ve also witnessed the death of jogger Ahmaud Arbery and the harassment of bird watcher Christian Cooper in Central Park. We’ve seen anti-Asian sentiments related to the pandemic. Discrimination, hate, violence, racial stereotyping, and harassment are rampant in our society. For many individuals, minorities, and communities of color, it’s the inhumane and dangerous reality they experience every day. People protesting on the streets are hurting and grieving because they are heartbroken, enraged, and afraid by what they’re experiencing in the world.

Last month, Juneteenth called us to reflect on the oldest known holiday honoring the end of slavery in the United States. This event didn’t happen centuries ago. It happened just 155 years ago. Systemic racism is still running rampant in our society, and this is why movements like Black Live Matters are so important.

Beyond last month, it is crucial to recognize that discrimination, intolerance, racism, racial stereotyping, and harassment are so ingrained in our society that we all need to take a stance against them. And these hateful actions take many forms. Some of our parents have been refugees and experienced it first-hand. I still remember how our school kids bullied a fellow student who recently migrated from abroad to Cyprus. I can’t imagine the impact it had on their lives and, also, just how much more difficult it would have been for them in the school if they weren’t white.

I want to be clear: At Transifex, we have zero tolerance for discrimination and injustice in any form. We are committed to creating and nurturing a supportive, inclusive work environment where we show profound, genuine respect and care for other people, their opinions, their feelings, their work, and their background. Diversity, inclusion, and acceptance are at the core of working here. We will stand up for these values when they are threatened.

All of us, both as individuals and as a company, must stand strong against all behaviors of racism, discrimination, and inequality. I’m encouraging every one of you to hold all of us and those around you accountable for these values. If you come across hatred, racism, mistreatment, harassment, or bullying. Speak up. Don’t let it slide.

Our deep social wounds will only heal as we come closer together as we listen and learn with open hearts, as we take the step to have these crucial conversations, no matter how hard they are. We need to cultivate the space in Transifex, our neighborhoods, our families, and elsewhere, to feel, above all, safe, included, and respected.


The Steps We Are Taking

As a result of all that has happened and as a next action item to this team-wide message, we’ve taken this time to discuss what is happening in our world and why this is important for our company. Taking action is as important as being informed, which is why we have a special section about taking action and speaking up in our Code of Conduct. 

Here’s a snippet of the section and some examples that can be employed both in and out of the office setting: 

“… if there’s one thing that we can do to improve is to speak up. Getting better about how we conduct ourselves requires constant adjustments and course corrections. Here are some examples of what you could say:

  1. ‘Hey, that wasn’t a nice thing to say.’
  2. ‘Can I say something? I feel what you just said wasn’t very nice and could be hurtful to others. Do you think you could repeat in a more inclusive and respectful way?’
  3. ‘The phrase you just used made me feel uncomfortable. Could you please, rephrase?’
  4. ‘I’m not sure everyone would appreciate how your last statement came out. Can we try to use more inclusive language in the discussion going forward?’
  5. ‘You know, I take offense to what you just said. Do you understand how what you said maybe inconsiderate to others?’
  6. ‘Can we please change the subject? I don’t feel great about how this discussion is evolving, and it’s a topic that can make people feel uncomfortable.’

We have also encouraged our team to reacquaint themselves with key company documents outlining our equality and diversity values such as our Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and our Company Core Values. 

And more specifically, last month, our team officially recognized Juneteenth as a company holiday. From here on out, Juneteenth will be revered as a day of celebration, education, and connection. Within our team, we have encouraged one another to learn more about the importance of this holiday and the fight against racism at large with resources such as: hella Juneteenth; 7 Ways to Stand Up to Racism; How to Fight Racism; How to Talk to Your Children about Protests and Racism; among many others. 

The journey ahead may be long and difficult, but we must start where we are and contribute however we can. Because in order to fully embrace the diversity of our nations and society, we must start by embracing the diversity of our peers, colleagues, and teammates. These are the first steps we are taking as a team to stand up for the injustices of the world and quite simply…just to do better. From our team to our customers and community: thank you for standing up to racism and discrimination with all of us at Transifex.

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Dimitris Glezos
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