The fundamental reason I am still at Facebook after 6years and for the foreseeable future is that I believe facebook has a big impact on the world and I can influence that impact (I am not a total saint, it's not the only reason: I get paid well, have a great role, have a great team and colleagues, I'm learning a lot and it's a sexy company to work at too but feeling connected to a bigger purpose does matter a lot to me). Specifically I believe that making the world more open and connected breeds tolerance and understanding. If you are connected to someone a little different than yourself, if they openly share that they are different and if you see what's going on in their life day to day you simply cannot normalize hatred against that person or group of people. I believe facebook helps make that a little more true across nations, races, religions, sexualities and more. We have a great sub site: Peace on Facebook that shares some of this and always inspires me.
On that front today was a pretty great day. Facebook launched support for transgender people to express themselves on the site. This is a project I've been involved with for a while and played a role in the background in getting it staffed, reviewed etc... at Facebook (there was a bigger team that drove it to launch with more impactful folks on that team than me for sure).
One part of this is I typically hate doing press and have avoided it but as I have been promoted it's been harder and harder to avoid it and I've had to practice more and do more. The press around this has been the biggest I've ever been involved with and my first broadcast interview (with the AP). The following picture is a screen shot of a TV in Moscow that a travelling friend shared with me and it's amazing to see the story has gone around the world even to places with low tolerance for LGBT rights like Russia. That makes me feel really glad I got out of my comfort zone and did the press (thanks to a friend called Slater who pushed me to do it).
Down the years at Facebook I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in our it gets better video. I can really see how (as a young nerd) I would have sought out this video had it existed and watched it and it would have made me feel better and less alone. I also got to be involved in getting same sex marriage launched on the site globally and more over time.
I guess the bottom line of what I want to say is: it's great to be part of a really tolerant and accepting company that wants to create a product where everyone can express their authentic self, build a more open and connected world and hopefully, by extension, a more tolerant and understanding one. We are, of course, not perfect and (in the words of Benjamin Zander in his amazing TED video I HIGHLY recommend watching this, gets me every time) we'd make ourselves wrong by holding ourselves to a standard of perfection but it is a possibility to live into and I am so lucky to be part of this journey and this amazing company & launch. I hope you all can be inspired to take the time to do things like this where the opportunities exist in your jobs (because I am sure they do). :)