“Who is the wife in the relationship?”
This is a question gay men are often asked.
It was given as an example of stereotypes, assumptions or questions LGBTI people are often asked which was shared during Accenture’s recent Pride Month breakfast in Melbourne.
During the panel discussion, one Accenture employee and panellist said his response to this question is: “We’re both men, we both do what we refer to as “husband duties” and we both do what we refer to as “wife duties”. But we’re both men so there is no “wife”.
It was one example of many questions and assumptions LGBTI people are tired of hearing.
The aim of the Accenture panel discussions which kicked off Pride Month, with speakers from a cross section of people from the community and allies, was to show the human side of inclusion and diversity and highlight some of the continued stereotypes and challenges faced by LGBTI people.
Another story from the panel in Sydney was an Accenture MD who spoke about her experience moving to Australia from a country where LGBTI is not accepted. She spoke about now having a child with her partner and the difficulty she faced explaining that to her family in her home country.
Those brutally honest stories from leadership in the company are so valuable, especially for junior staff to hear who may be able relate to similar struggles they face. To have role models and people they can potentially go and talk to.
And that’s what Pride Month is all about. An opportunity for us to build and grow the LGBTI community feeling and increase the visibility of the community within Accenture through events and activities for everyone to do.
We had so many fun activities happen throughout the month which we encouraged everybody to get involved in.
We had an Out for Australia event. Out for Australia is an organisation that Accenture partners with that seeks to support and mentor aspiring LGBTI professionals as they navigate their way through the early stages of their career.
We had interfirm events with other professional services firms - growing our community beyond Accenture.
We had a Queer film festival movie night in Melbourne as Accenture is a sponsor of the Mardi Gras Film Festival. Red carpets, paparazzi – the works!
The profits from the café in the Accenture Melbourne office goes to a selected charity and for Pride month proceeds will be donated to Joy FM, which is Australia's gay and lesbian community radio station.
We're also game away free coffees to people wearing ally badges.