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Pride at Basware

Each year, Baswareans come together to celebrate Pride Month. We sat down with Andrew Dos Santos in our Professional Services team who shared a bit about his own personal journey, his experiences at Basware and why celebrating Pride is so important for the LGBTQ+ community.

I grew up in a loving, and religious family. When I realized that I was different, I did all I could not to be different – and that was painful.

I soon realized that I should be proud of who I am.  I told my parents when I was 15.  And that was a painful process.  But I needed my relationship with my family to be based on truth – otherwise it would be the same as not having one at all.

I left home at 16. I never moved back. It took almost 10 years to turn my relationship around with my family.  And we did. I’m very proud that my parents advocated for same-sex marriage when Australia put it to a vote.

I love my family and they love me, and I could not be more happy or grateful for journey they have been on with me. I still think about the time we ‘lost’ as time we won’t get back – I know this hurts my mother deeply. But I also feel very fortunate.  I feel like I’ve lived a privileged life when compared to many others that continue to suffer (or tragically, have decided that they could not continue).

Coming together to talk

This is just one of many reasons why I believe Pride is so important: life is short, we can’t afford to lose time with those that we love most.  Pride is a great time to celebrate, it’s also an important time to reflect and talk. Reflect on whether we truly accept others for who they are, and do we accept ourselves for who we are, do we embrace and value diversity and treat each other with dignity and respect.  It gives us a moment in time to come together and make sure we’re talking about these important issues.

Difference is valued

I know that at Basware all these things are important too and are lived up to daily. We’re all treated as individual and difference is valued.   I have been with Basware for over 14 years and I have always felt part of the Basware ‘family’.  I’ve been encouraged to thrive as the person I am and that the diversity I bring to this family is valued.

Making positive changes

Our leadership is always open to doing things better.  One example is our Diversity & Inclusion Council, this was set up to make sure that minority groups have a voice.  Another example is Basware’s new London office where the restrooms are gender neutral.  While for some this may feel like a very small thing, for me it matters.  However, it’s not considered a ‘done job’, Basware wants to continue evolving and finding ways to make positive changes. It’s also great that Baswareans can now also join AKKR’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group, now that we are part of a bigger family. 

I am proud to be me and proud to be a Baswarean.  And proud that Basware celebrates Pride because that gives the LGBTQ+ community visibility and visibility drives change.

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