Paola, leader for EMEA senior customer service group, PayPal
Paola, leader for PayPal’s EMEA senior customer service group

PayPal’s LGBT supports make group leader feel at ease, valued and safe

1 Jul 2016

June was a big month for PayPal. It was Pride, sure, and that’s something that the company is always heavily involved in, but it was also the organisation’s diversity month.

PayPal’s diversity month saw the company flying the Pride flag outside both Irish locations, preparing a float for the Dublin Pride parade, launching its LGBT network, PayPal Pride, and signing the Diversity Charter Ireland.

PayPal has a long history of pushing for diverse teams. All of this is fantastic on a corporate level, but what difference does all of this make to PayPal’s employees?

Paola, the leader of the EMEA senior customer service group in PayPal, has been at PayPal for two years, moving up through the ranks from back office fraud protection to her current role.

For her, PayPal’s attitude is everything: “For me, personally, diversity and inclusion is about being accepted for who I am and how I am – I don’t have to pretend to be someone I am not in order to feel safe and valued.”

Speaking of how being LGBT can be challenging in the workplace, Paola explains that it can feel like you’re ‘coming out’ every day, as you never quite know how a person is going to react.

“[But] I took a conscious decision to show I am proud to be who I am,” she said.

And PayPal have been fully supportive of that. Family supports are extended to all employees, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

After the birth of their twins, Paola and her wife each got parental leave, and their colleagues made a potentially stressful situation easy and happy.

All of that company-level support really affected Paola: “Last year, it made me really proud when the rainbow flag was raised in front of our building, and when Louise Phelan [VP of operations, EMEA] and John Donahoe [chair of the board] fully supported the same-sex marriage referendum, I felt even prouder.”

For Paola, it’s important that she feels “at ease, valued and safe”.

This article draws on a post previously published on PayPal’s blog.

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Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty Tobin served as careers editor of Silicon Republic from 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy and sassy comebacks.

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