Celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month at Canoe

At Canoe, we are dedicated to creating a supportive, safe, and diverse environment for everyone. This month, we are celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month by showing our collective support for our employees and the broader LGBTQIA+ community. Many queer individuals feel unsafe in various environments, including social media, their workplace, and even their own neighborhoods, and we are always striving to be a safe place for our employees and their communities. 

Recent statistics from GLAAD show:

  • Each of the past 3 years has been a record-setting year for anti-LGBTQ legislation—with over 500 bills introduced this year alone. 
  • Each younger generation is about twice as likely as the prior generation to identify as LGBTQ. More than 20% of Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ.
  • Americans of all demographics seek out employers who take an active stance in support of LGBTQ rights. 
  • 91% of non-LGBTQ Americans support the freedom of LGBTQ individuals to live their lives and not be discriminated against.

Our NYC headquarters are just about a mile away from The Stonewall Inn, the site of the Gay Liberation Movement’s tipping point—the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Commemorated each June, initially as an annual “Gay Pride Day” and now as an entire LGBTQ Pride Month, celebrations and memorials are hosted across the United States to recognize this moment in history and its continuing impact. 55 years later, we asked some of our employees to explain what Pride means to them and how they plan to celebrate this year:

What is your approach to creating a supportive culture for the LGBTQ+ community at Canoe in the present and future?

Tiffany Taylor: At its core, my role is to ensure fairness and consistency across the organization I support. My role also entails creating a safe and enriching environment for all employees. I try to do this using various approaches that include:

  1. Being approachable (I am very self-deprecating, intentionally, as I always want employees to know they can come to me with anything).
  2. Running engagement surveys every 6 months or so and being very proactive in sharing the results and actioning in those areas that need improvement.
  3. Bringing our employees together every month in our remote first environment to have fun and celebrate important events. This month, we are hosting two virtual events for our employees, leveraging the company Confetti, to celebrate and learn more about Pride and Juneteenth.
  4. We are looking forward to Q3 here at Canoe as we plan to stand up an Employee Resources Group (ERG) focused on DEIB and I will spearhead this initiative as the ERG’s executive sponsor.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in the space, and how has working at Canoe been different? Is there a particular moment in your professional journey at Canoe that you are most proud of?

Jeffrey Lin: My professional journey has been rather unremarkable in this regard, as I haven’t faced explicit retaliation due to my sexuality. Initially, I was unsure whether to share this, but reflecting on these experiences is valuable. The lack of external pressure doesn’t eliminate internal struggles. I’ve concealed parts of my identity to avoid potential unfair treatment, leading me to keep my distance at times. Although these issues don’t dominate my thoughts at work, they can be emotionally draining, as hiding aspects of our identity is a type of performance. In “Velvet Rage” by Alan Downs, a clinical psychologist, the concept of hiding our true identity is described as splitting. Splitting results in any praise for our accomplishments feeling devoid of satisfaction because it does not originate from our authentic selves.

While we may not consciously seek safety, it is innate and important to feel secure and supported at work. At prior jobs, I’ve heard close colleagues of mine make questionable remarks about the LGBTQ+ community. At past company events, I rarely saw management participate in pride activities, which felt hierarchical and suggested that embracing one’s identity might hinder career progression. This is why acknowledgment and support from companies are important.

At Canoe, I haven’t experienced any social repercussions or negativity regarding my sexuality.

Canoe’s initiative to collect these stories is commendable. Sharing our experiences is vital for understanding the diverse perspectives within our community. Our LGBTQ+ community is united by shared experiences, not stereotypes, and by sharing, we can foster greater support and understanding.

As a parent and ally, how does that influence your approach to interacting with others in your role at Canoe?

Tiffany Taylor: As Head of People, I have always tried to lead with empathy, compassion, and understanding. That hasn’t changed. When my 19-year-old son came out 3 years ago, what changed for me was the need to always wear something that symbolizes my allyship. I am incredibly proud of my son and his courage, and I never want anyone to feel isolated, so wearing something to show my allyship helps me spread that message even when I am not speaking about the topic. These days, you can always find me wearing a rainbow bracelet, a cherished gift from my husband.

What advice would you give to young LGBTQ+ individuals who are looking to break into an industry like ours?

Jeffrey Lin: While finance can be more traditional and conservative at times, it’s important not to generalize the entire industry based on these characteristics. There are many supportive people in our industry who uplift and support the LGBTQ+ community. If finance and/or technology is your passion and where you want to work, find the right environment, reach out and go for it!

How are you celebrating pride this year?

Jeffrey Lin: I’m celebrating pride by being with my community. In addition, I’m living with a focus on authenticity; aligning my actions with my internal values and simply doing what makes me happy. 

Tiffany Taylor: We try to celebrate Pride all year, but in June, my family and I attend and work several local Pride events. Also, every June, I gift myself with a new Pride t-shirt and love the collection I have amassed over the years. Here is a photo of me and my husband and son at the Hanover, MA, Pride event this year.

Cassio Couto: Earlier this month, I supported my favorite indie authors/illustrators by purchasing their comic books at the POC CON 2024—a Brazilian LGBTQIA+ version of Comic-Con that happens in Sao Paulo every June. I also donated to Casa 1, an organization that seeks to end LGBTQIA+ homelessness in Brazil.


Jeffrey Lin, Director of Product Management, Data Products at Canoe Intelligence.

The architect behind Canoe’s data product design and implementation, Jeff boasts a stellar track record of zero-to-one product development. His relentless focus on problem-solving and user-centric design principles ensures that Canoe Asset Data meets the evolving needs of its clientele.

Tiffany Taylor, Head of People at Canoe Intelligence.

A seasoned people resources practitioner, Tiffany has more than 25 years of experience leading corporate human resources teams to drive business outcomes and goals. As the Head of People for Canoe Intelligence, Tiffany leads Canoe’s People Strategy practice to ensure the availability of world-class talent to drive Canoe’s success. Her responsibilities include strategic talent acquisition, leadership, manager, and employee development; business partnering; and compensation and benefits.

Cassio Couto, Software Engineer at Canoe Intelligence.

As a software engineer with nine years of experience, Cassio specializes in backend programming and data engineering. His career has been driven by a commitment to innovation and technical excellence, leading to a pursuit and completion of a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence.