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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


TRANSformation: Transitioning into my authentic self

By Rica Paras, Senior Manager, Accenture Technology, Manila
"I’ve always had supportive people in my life, from the people who guided my transformation as a teen, to my diverse and progressive colleagues."

As a transgender woman and an LGBT rights advocate, transformation has been the centerpiece of my life.

Growing up with gender identity misalignment was not easy. I remember looking at myself in the mirror as a child and feeling this heartache at seeing how my own image did not reflect the person I knew I was.

It was only after graduating from high school that I began the transition that allowed me to be myself—my authentic self.

I’m lucky, because I’ve always had supportive people in my life, from the people who guided my transformation as a teen, to my diverse and progressive colleagues. They have helped me to be brave, and to achieve more than I ever thought I could.

As a solution architect, my job is to help transform clients' businesses. Now, I travel the world to meet with these clients. I work hard to gain their trust and respect and to bolster their confidence in my abilities by designing solutions that make a lasting impact on their businesses.

I am also Accenture’s LGBT Lead for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. I’m incredibly proud of this role, because we are quite advanced and progressive when it comes to LGBT policies. I feel we serve as a role model for companies in the Philippines that are struggling to support their LGBT employees.

There’s still so much to do when it comes to LGBT causes, and my dream is for my company to take the lead in driving these causes. I want companies here and around the world to look at us and say, “Hey, we can do that, too.” That’s a transformation I definitely want to be a part of.

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