|One of my friends/ex coworkers in Argentina asked me if he could submit the following story to a diversity contest:|
My name is Andrés Vellano. I have been working with the company for 13 years and since 1998, I have worked in the LA BIS Organization. I participated in almost every implementation of the different systems that show the sales of the Company, systems that are used by the internal users to analyze our business. Working in this regional job, I have had the chance to travel to many countries inside and outside of Latin America and I have also had the possibility to have many bosses, female and male.
There was an interesting situation with one of these bosses that enriched my self a lot professionally and also personally.
One day we were finishing a videoconference and my boss said that he had to go. So I asked him where he had to go and he answered that he had to go because his girlfriend was waiting for him.
In order to give a little more context, he spoke only English, he lived in a Spanish speaking country and he started learning Spanish. I studied English in the primary school until I was 12 and also studied English in the classes that the company gives to employees. My English skills were fine talking about work but they were a little weak when talking about daily life.
A couple of days after that videoconference my boss called me by phone. After talking about job stuff, he said that he wanted to tell me something. So he explained me that he felt bad after the videoconference because he told me a specific lie. I did not understand, so he said that actually he wasn’t going to meet his girlfriend, but that he had to meet his boyfriend at their home.
Because of several reasons I thought that he was telling me a joke (Language, informal relation that we had, etc.). But after a couple of minutes I realized that he was telling me something serious and in fact his significant other was not a woman but a man.
I grew up in a family, where among other values, the respect for others, was one of the most important one. So, naturally, do you know what was my first feeling / reaction ? Pride and Gratefulness.
I felt pride because besides his local boss, I was the first person to know about his personal situation. Taking into account that we had never met in person, that made feel really proud.
I felt gratefulness because the fact that he had so large gesture of trust, trust that perhaps he did not have even with the people of his team in the same country where he worked. He made me feel, I don’t know how to describe it. He basically made me feel more like a human being.
I don’t want to make this story much longer, so let me tell you that the relationship between boss – employee was very good and we generated an environment of total motivation and understanding. We think that we are all people and people in long term relationships have similar wants, desires and fears. It doesn’t matter whether it’s man/woman or man/man.
In general, at work, if you open yourself and get to know each other you get better results, enjoy the work more and make friends.
I also want to highlight some things that I learnt throughout this experience like the company behaviors in this kind of situations. I gladly surprise when knowing that my company treats the relations between women – women and men – men in the same way and with the same benefits they treat / give men – women. The boyfriend of my boss was entitled to company Medical benefits. As my boss was an expatriate, he had the chance to travel to his country periodically, as did his boyfriend.
I know that I wouldn’t have to be surprised but in a “macho” society, like the Argentinean one, I can assure that many companies do not act as P&G acts in these cases.
Even today and never having never seen him face to face, we are in touch, this time not for talking about work, but for things related with the family and life in general. I am deeply gratefulness to have the opportunity to meet my former boss who really cares about others.
The winning entry was about a woman from another country who added diversity to the organization, which was a sham! Still, I was glad Andrés put in the effort!