Michael Hagdorn, Senior HR Business Partner – Content, Legal & Strategy at Clarivate, discusses the role of SPECTRUM and its events in supporting LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers and how the group is driving positive change in the company and wider community.
Michael started at Clarivate in January 2020 as part of the corporate HR team and is co-lead of the Philadelphia Chapter of SPECTRUM – the Clarivate global colleague resource group for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies. With February being LGBTQ+ History Month, Michael shares his perspective on how Clarivate encourages and supports a diverse workforce through SPECTRUM, including past and future activities and his wider role in the group.
Supporting a diversity of talent
I started at Clarivate at the beginning of 2020 and taking a role within SPECTRUM was one of my first priorities. Initially I joined to explore where I could have the most impact globally, but as we approached our virtual Pride celebration in June last year, I decided to raise my hand to become the co-lead for the Philadelphia Chapter. This involves a range of activities, including organizing educational and social events at a local level to increase visibility and acceptance in society for the LGBTQ+ community.
For me, one of the most notable events to-date was Allies Month, which Clarivate celebrated back in October. The month-long event focused on promoting what it means to be an ally to the LGTBQ+ community and featured a host of initiatives including a focus on the proper use and comprehension of preferred gender pronouns. An impressive number of the colleagues I correspond with daily have already adopted a pronoun tagline in their email signatures!
We also took a heavy role in promoting National Coming Out Day through a series of educational blog posts that provided mental health resources both for colleagues embracing their identity and for friends and family providing support. There were also blog posts from parents working at Clarivate with children who have come out and a series of personal coming out stories, including my own, which was both a terrifying and liberating experience!
Driving positive change
Clarivate has long led the way in campaigning for more inclusive workplaces and communities. Back in November, we cemented this further by joining Stonewall’s Trans Rights are Human Rights campaign. By pledging our support, we hope to send a message to trans communities that Clarivate values every voice and treats everyone with dignity and respect.
I truly believe SPECTRUM is a powerful force for positive change. This year we are already working on plans to pursue a path by which Clarivate can be recognized by the HRC (Human Rights Council) Equality Index and our most senior leaders are committed to this achievement. This month we are also actively supporting LGBTQ+ History Month, which is an informative and celebratory campaign to remove prejudice and make LGBTQ+ people visible in all their rich diversity.
LGTBQ+ people may always have the challenge of needing to come out in countless scenarios in our lives. However, at Clarivate I have found far less anxiety in doing so. I felt an instant degree of support and comfort here, which is a welcome contrast to my previous roles. While I’ve never been fearful of proclaiming my identity within the workplace, it can sometimes feel like a lonely place when you are unsure if you are the only one.
A great time to join the Clarivate team
When I describe my first year at Clarivate as somewhat of a “wild ride,” it is meant in only the best possible regard! I have been lucky to arrive during an exciting time of organizational change taking place rapidly in a sustained effort to evolve quicker than our competitors and proactively address the needs of our customers.
Any organizational transformation includes two key activities: change management and organizational development, and they both present the golden opportunities that we HR Business Partners live for! It’s what wakes us up energized in the morning and gives us the chance to think beyond the day-to-day to do some meaningful work that directly impacts the business.
I’m proud to be part of a truly global organization that positions diversity and inclusion as a top priority. Our colleagues are based all around the world and it’s inspiring to see such a tremendous amount of regular global collaboration here. Time zones and geography are really a moot point in the Clarivate organization – we function as though everyone on the team is operating in a single office.
At Clarivate I have the huge privilege to work with colleagues from San Francisco, California, to Chennai, India and everywhere in between. It is an incredible opportunity to learn from those that have different perspectives, different cultural experiences and, most importantly, that bring diversity of thought to the work that we do.
To find out more about working with Clarivate and our current opportunities visit: https://careers.clarivate.com/.
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