As more and more Irish employers embrace workplace diversity, Ireland is becoming a better place to work for LGBT employees. Some Accenture employees spoke to GCN about the benefits from a personal point of view.
According to Alastair Blair, Country Managing Director at Accenture: “It has long been accepted that diversity and inclusion drives innovation. At our heart Accenture is a people based business and that is what our clients buy. How can we serve our clients if we offer a single homogenised view of the world?
This has never been truer than it is now when we live and work in a truly digital and global age.
Our people will only be set up for success if they work in an environment that allows them to be who they are. It is for this reason that Accenture is fully committed to inclusion and diversity and I am immensely proud of our recognition by GLEN as a Diversity Champion and our sponsorship of the Gaze Film Festival.”
The following perspectives from Accenture individuals at different stages in their careers provide three distinct views on how diversity and LGBT support within the workplace can deliver long-lasting values and form mutually-beneficial relationships.
TISH LOUGHREY – Business & Technology Manager
“Despite going through a lengthy ‘coming-out’ personal journey some years ago, I warmly received news of an LGBT network being formed in Accenture. I now find myself co-leading that network and serving as a role model for others.
I follow a simple ethos that being myself is key to the pride and authenticity that I bring to work. I sometimes look back and wonder if I would have had that confidence or received that promotion had I not been in an environment where I could be my whole self.
Our people form an integral part of the Diversity agenda at Accenture, so investing in our people and our core values is the absolute right thing to do. The Accenture leadership team recognises this and such backing from leadership is fundamental to maintaining a happy, diverse workforce.
I place huge value in developing an extended ally community within the workplace; I saw our LGBT Allies group multiply in size leading up to last year’s Marriage Equality campaign.
I believe that every organisation can benefit from a network of committed allies who have a desire to be informed and a willingness to lend a voice. Allies can help us thrive towards the common goal of making our society more fluid, thereby eliminating pre-conceived notions that have been formed over the years.
As more new people join the company’s LGBT network, I take great pleasure in seeing them grow in confidence as they become happier in their own skin… and that’s what our agenda is all about.”
Click below to read what Stephen Barry and Michelle Cullen have to say about workplace diversity.
STEPHEN BARRY – Technology Consulting Analyst
“The best word to describe my experience of being LGBT in the workplace, and more specifically out as LGBT in the workplace, is transformative.
Prior to joining Accenture, I had very limited exposure to the LGBT community, mainly due to never feeling the need to get involved, but the vibrant network within the company was something I instantly gravitated towards.
I can very honestly say that when I joined, I didn’t expect to be attending LGBT events, let alone marching in Dublin Pride alongside so many fantastic members of a community that I finally called my own.
My experiences being out in the workplace and being involved in the network within it changed me deeply for the better on a personal level. It truly brought me out of myself, and very much made me an open book both in work and in my own personal life.
To end on a sentimental note, I feel indebted to Accenture and the LGBT Network – I would not be the person I am today without them.”
Click below to read what Michelle Cullen has to say about workplace diversity.
MICHELLE CULLEN – Accenture Ireland Inclusion & Diversity Lead
“Our Inclusion & Diversity programme takes a broad view of diversity, and seeks to reflect and understand the needs of different groups including existing and future employees.
We strive to create a culture of inclusion that celebrates diversity. It includes thinking about how we attract, retain and develop talent without boundaries or bias, creating a place all our people feel included, can grow and develop their careers.
There has been a lot of talk about the lack of diversity in film, but the GAZE festival does something about that, championing exceptional storytellers, and telling stories that are under-represented in our culture. As a result of an idea from our LGBT network, we are sponsors of the GAZE film festival, which is part of our celebration of diversity.
Film is a powerful platform to connect people, irrespective of gender identity or expression, or of sexual orientation. It reminds us of the greatest hashtag of all time – two words that changed Ireland and are as necessary worldwide today as they were in May 2015: #LoveWins.”
Find out more at Accenture here.
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