"Behind the scenes, there was a dedicated effort to shape our mission, define our group's identity, and establish the core values that embody Axon Allies. Witnessing the growth and enduring impact of Axon Allies over the years has been a source of immense pride for me. It goes beyond professional accomplishments; it's about the collective spirit and commitment that defines our shared vision. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the success of Axon Allies.”
“Allies to me is truly a group that embodies all,” says Travis Hove, Program Manager, Virtual Reality Content at Axon. “It embodies everyone from different walks of life from different backgrounds, whether that’s different sexual identities, gender identities or even as the name implies, allyship; it involves everybody coming together toward a common goal of educating and learning with one another.”
Hove is a tech industry veteran. He says that, in his experience, the efforts to ensure justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at Axon are extremely rare.
“Axon is probably the only company that I’ve worked at where working in the tech industry as a queer person has actually been not only accepted but understood,” Hove says.
Your full self
According to another member of the Axon team, Yves Wienecke, a Software Engineer, the existence of Axon Allies and Axon’s JEDI efforts not only help educate about the LGBTQIA+ community but also have a deeply personal impact: They enable him to be his full self at work.
“I don’t have to worry about thinking ‘What do I have to do in order to be someone else? What do I have to do in order to fit in with everyone else?’ I can just … work,” Wienecke says.
That worry can be a real concern among LGBTQIA+ employees. According to a study conducted by the UCLA Williams Institute, nearly half (46%) of LGBTQIA+ workers have experienced workplace harassment or unfair treatment merely because of who they are. With Axon Allies, Axon is aiming to change that.
“Axon truly provided me a space where not only were my opinions heard and understood, but it was a place where I didn’t feel like I needed to hide who I was in order to succeed,” Hove says.