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By OXO Innovation
June 23, 2023

Pride Season: Fabiano Cid’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Journey

Fabiano Cid, OXO Innovation’s Chief Operating Officer, has enjoyed working in the translation industry all over the world for the majority of his career. As a white male entrepreneur, he has had the privilege of never experiencing prejudice as a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+* community in our industry. 

His experience as an openly gay man, however, did lead to him immigrating to Canada from his native Brazil. Over the course of his career spanning decades, he has brought forward initiatives at various companies and organizations, including OXO, where they promote diversity and inclusivity in language and professional culture. 

Entrepreneurship and merger with OXO

Fabiano founded his own company, Ccaps Translation and Localization, in 1999. It soon grew to become the third largest language services company in Latin America. In 2018, the Ccaps group of companies merged with OXO Translations, expanding the global reach of the newly created OXO Innovation and its capacity to deliver to clients more complex solutions. 

One of the driving forces of the merger was Fabiano’s desire to come to Montreal, since he was facing an increasingly hostile environment in his native Brazil with the election of Bolsonaro: a far-right politician who was a vocal opponent of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. 

Bolsonaro’s lack of respect for the rights of most minorities is what led one of the country’s most important entrepreneurs in the language services industry to become an expat. While his initial instincts were to stay and fight discrimination, he embraced the merger and came to Canada instead due to the opportunities that opened up for him.  

“Canada is a very welcoming society and the people of Montreal even more so. Here I feel safe and valued as an immigrant. It’s particularly reassuring to be in a country that receives me with open arms,” says Fabiano. 

Gender Survey for Women in Localization 

As a member of the Advisory Board for Women in Localization, Fabiano has launched various diversity initiatives, including an important industry-wide survey about gender. Women in Localization is the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, and under Fabiano’s guidance the Gender Survey has given the industry important data points to work with towards its goal of becoming more equal. 

Conducted as a pro bono project by CSA Research, the survey was conducted in nine languages and has painted an important picture of the issues women face in the industry. A current version of the survey will be released in 2023. 

Championing Equity and Diversity at OXO 

All of this experience, both personal and professional, makes Fabiano an ideal member of OXO’s Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee’s goal is to recommend practices to management that will foster diversity, inclusion and equality in a welcoming environment for employees, vendors and collaborators, regardless of their gender, sexuality, or race. 

He is also a passionate advocate of inclusive language at OXO, where they have developed guidelines for clients, staff and vendors who are now more familiar with inclusive language and can promote it within and outside the company. OXO’s language experts often offer suggestions to clients to make language more inclusive while working on their projects. 

Under Fabiano’s stewardship, the Equity and Diversity Committee has developed various practices to foster inclusivity and diversity, such as “blind hiring,” in which identifying information is stripped from CVs and language tests so that candidates for permanent and freelance positions can all receive equal consideration without unconscious bias. During the hiring process, OXO also asks candidates for their preferred pronouns to ensure they are addressed in the way they want to be. OXO also encourages the use of gender pronouns in email signatures and social media profiles once candidates become staff. 

“We really like the idea of having the globe represented within our microcosm,” says Fabiano. “And the world is only more interesting when we embrace the diversity of its multiple expressions.”

Fabiano hopes to further expand all of the equity and diversity initiatives at OXO and beyond, including those promoting 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and equal opportunities in the language services industry. Another survey might be in order?

* 2SLGBTQIA+ stands for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual. The plus sign acknowledges the many sexual and gender minority people who don’t see themselves in the umbrella acronym and prefer other identity terms such as pansexual, gender-free, and their allies. “Two-Spirit” (2S) is a term used within some North American Indigenous communities encompassing cultural, spiritual, sexual and gender identity. The term reflects complex Indigenous understandings of gender roles, spirituality, and the long history of sexual and gender diversity in Indigenous cultures.

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