Rhett Pearson has been with RedBalloon since June 2015, and it's fair to say he's been through a bit of change in that time. Rhett is a transgender man who regularly and openly shares his experiences in the workplace - good and bad. Here he tells us a little bit about how RedBalloon has supported his journey.
I joined RedBalloon on June 1st 2015, but I felt like a part of the furniture after about three months. I started on the phones as a Customer Experience Consultant but quickly had aspirations to get into the Product Team (now Business Partners). I came into the Product Team as a Product Coordinator on secondment to assist with RedBalloon NZ, and am now a Market Associate, responsible for the NZ supplier community.
Firstly I had a group interview with about five "RedBallooners"; and I clearly remember talking about our latest Netflix obsessions (I had just recovered from viral meningitis so had spent a fair bit of time on Netflix in the weeks prior). The next day I had a callback for a second interview and I started a few days later - it was a quick process.
I knew within a day of being at RedBalloon that I could comfortably 'come out' and be very comfortable in my own skin. The RedBalloon culture is progressive and understands people as individuals. They see the value people can bring when they feel comfortable and confident to be themselves in the workplace. I am also very open about my journey which makes it a lot easier. There are plenty of people around here who would defend someone if something were to happen - but I don't have that fear anyway. The people are what makes a business and the people here are amazing.
The RedBalloon culture is progressive and understands people as individuals. They see the value people can bring when they feel comfortable and confident to be themselves in the workplace.
Aside from all the experiences I've been able to do (and there has been many), it was pretty great being able to celebrate with everyone with a round of whiskies at the Big Red Group launch event on FINALLY getting my passport with an M gender marker for the first time ever. It was a long time coming and a bit of a struggle so having a bunch of awesome people with me to celebrate was really special.
This isn't the kind of workplace that you can just come in, do a bit of work and then leave again - you will end up liking your colleagues, eating way too many cupcakes, doing experiences you never thought you'd ever do and laughing way too much. Everyone here gets to be themselves 100% and I love that.