Taking a major step for civil rights, Microsoft Corporation (NASDQA: MSFT) has expressed public support for its employees who practice ethical non-monogamy (ENM). In a keynote address by Microsoft CVP for diversity, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre said, “It’s time we talk about including people who practice ethical non-monogamy”, which brought a lot of excitement to the company thousands of employees who practice this life path. Microsoft, which employs approximately 181,000 people worldwide, has been a leader in diversity and inclusion for decades, and is often hailed for their progressive policies and activities.
“When I suggested we create an internal employee resource group for polyamory back in 2017, I was surprised at how positive the response was, “said Erez Benari, a Redmond-based technologist and social-event producer. “However, I then left the company shortly after.” A few years later, Benari stumbled upon the news of McIntyre’s speech, and was moved to tears. “Microsoft has always been on the front-line of human and civil rights, so this makes a lot of sense, but it’s also super-exciting seeing ‘my baby’ grow from a small handful of enthusiasts into this massive group of people, “said Benari humbly.
The employee group, known as “ENUM” (a word plays on ENM and a common technology term), is highly active, and hosts regular social events, including a weekly “happy hour”, as well as guest lectures. This month, in celebration of “polyamory day” (November 23), the company hosted guest speaker Diana Adams, who runs the Chosen Family Law Center in NY. Adams spoke to hundreds of members of the employee group about the challenges our society faces with regards to polyamory, and the steps the Law Center is taking to make the world more open and accepting. In her speech, Adams spoke of the cities of Arlington, Somerville, and Cambridge in the state of Massachusetts as great examples of cities that adopted pro-polyamory legislation, and encouraged Microsoft’s ENUM members to work with their local municipalities in the Pacific Northwest to adopt similar legislation. “Making these kinds of changes at the city level is an achievable goal, and is a solid steppingstone to achieving this at the county, state and maybe one day, country level, “said Adams.
“I worked for Microsoft from May 2000 to April 2018, and was 1st hand witness to the company embracing progressive policies,” Said Benari. “For example, Microsoft adopted the concept of “Same Sex Domestic Partners”, which allowed Gay couples who co-habituated to enjoy the same benefit package as married couples, many years before Gay marriage was fully legal”. Currently, Benari works with numerous other technology companies concurrently, in support of their efforts to also embrace values of openness towards ethical non-monogamy. “I’m afraid I cannot reveal specific names, but these are major players in the tech sector, and hopefully, as more and more companies embrace such policies, it will start a chain-reaction leading to more and more acceptance.” said Benari enthusiastically. Benari’s excitement might be a bit premature, but he certainly has our hearts!
For more information about Microsoft’s LGBTQ and ethical non-monogamy work, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/pride/actions