Why Should Companies Be Allowed To Show Their Pride?

"I see an evolution of LGBT+ rights," says LGBT Network Lead at Accenture Ireland, Brendan Byrne, as corporate involvement in the Dublin Pride Parade hits an all time high.


The rising popularity of Pride over the last decade has seen companies looking to leverage the ever-widening reach of Pride and the “pink pound” which is estimated globally at $3.7 trillion (LGBT Capital 2015).

There is a perception of the dilution of a message that started with riots and is now being taken over by corporate branding to boost the bottom line. It’s easy to see why there is a backlash against corporate involvement in our annual positive stance against discrimination around the world.

But I see something different… I see an evolution of LGBT+ rights, moving the fight from the streets to the boardrooms. 85% of respondents to Burning Issues 2 (NXF 2016) felt that equality for LGBT+ people in work was important.

A startling 62% of out college graduates go back into the closet in their first job (HRC 2014). If a company’s participation in Pride parades helps to shift either of these in the right direction, it can only be positive.

While some of our community have been rejected by their families, our “work families” embrace and support our community, and in many cases, push the mainstreaming of LGBT+ rights.

Marching together on June 30 allows us to show the world that we are more than just concerned about the bottom line. It sends a message that we all support human rights.

It also allows those of us that have risen through the corporate ladder to make it a little easier for those coming behind us, by being visible role models for all to see.

Accenture has supported our community over many years through initiatives like the sponsorship of GAZE International LGBT Film Festival and by giving our employees two paid volunteering days every year.

Our partnership with TENI in hosting the Trans Leadership Summit, helped members of our community develop skills needed in a work environment.

The Workplace Equality Index independently assessed our policies and performance ensuring we matched our actions with our words. As a result, we were amongst the first companies in Ireland to introduce gender-neutral bathrooms.

Of course, there is a cost to hosting Pride and if companies are willing to put their money where their mouths are by sponsoring Pride celebrations, then surely that’s a good thing? As long as they remember, Pride is not just one day in June, it’s every day.

Accenture is always looking for talent who can be their authentic selves at work. Meet some of their people or check out open roles here: https://www.accenture.com/ie-en/careers

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