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In response to a hate-fueled attack in Sofia, Bulgaria, Progress and our employee resource group Plus will contribute $3,000 and offer volunteer opportunities to help renovate an LGBTQ+ community center.
We were shocked to learn that on Saturday, Oct. 30, one of the few LGBTQ+ community centers in Bulgaria—the Rainbow Hub—was broken into during an event. Several people methodically destroyed property of the center, threatened the people there with physical violence and attacked one of the women present. In short, this was a hate crime, which is defined as an act that is motivated by real or perceived bias against someone due to sexual identity, religion, race or ethnicity, age, gender or disability.
The LGBTQ+ community and its allies are represented at Progress, both locally in Bulgaria and around the world. As a company with a clear and unquestionable commitment to supporting the communities of Progress employees and their well-being, we are dismayed and alarmed at this horrendous attack, and any other incidents of weaponized hatred that various populations are encountering around the globe.
Progress has always cared deeply about the well-being of its employees, their families, and the entire society, including all marginalized and underrepresented groups. We extend a message of solidarity with the Rainbow Hub in Bulgaria and condemn all forms of discrimination and harm against the LGBTQ+ community.
While Progress cannot claim to have the ability to solve all the injustices of the world, we can offer relief and a helping hand. We will commit $3,000 USD to the rebuilding efforts and continuation of the support projects organized by the people behind the Rainbow Hub. Furthermore, Plus, the LGBTQ+ employee resource group at Progress, will offer future volunteer opportunities to support the renovation of the community center in person.
At Progress, we continually seek ways to foster an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels appreciated and able to bring their authentic self to work. Whether that diversity comes in the form of race, gender, gender identity, sexual preference or identity, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, socioeconomic standing, or any other status, we support equality and respect human rights for all.
Progress for Her ERG
Shirley Knowles, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Courtney Gagne, Inclusion and Diversity Program Manager
Mariyan Vasev is a psychologist, a knowledge-sharing geek, and a Talent Development Manager at Progress. He is part of the People Team and likes learning and supporting others' growth. Some of the projects he is involved in include the Mentorship program, onboarding, and LEAD, the global manager development program at the company. He is also a co-leader of Plus, the LGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG) at Progress.
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