The LGBT network here is a good way of bringing together different levels of people in the organisation. It’s not just an opportunity to work on LGBT and advocacy or charities – it’s also a good way to network. I’m the LGBT rep for the Analyst Consulting Group and one of the things that we’re trying to do is make the network more visible to Analysts that have just joined.
The LGBT network was voted Best Team in an internal competition across Accenture last year, and that would have been impossible without the support of non-LGBT people who take part in the activities that the network organises, including the LGBT ally programme. So, for example, the ally programme has become so accepted it’s almost impossible to walk into our main office in Fenchurch Street and not see a rainbow lanyard which is worn by our LGBT allies.
Listening to experiences from other people, especially people who are older than me, who were out maybe as LGBT at University, but went back into the closet when working at other firms, I’m quite grateful for Accenture’s culture and stance on LGBT. I don’t really have comparisons as I joined Accenture as a graduate, but I do know that here at Accenture I experience a very open-minded and accepting environment. When people are free to express themselves and just be who they are, they can focus on their work performance more than just worrying about a non-inclusive environment or a non-diverse environment.
I think what Pride stands for is a celebration of diversity that can mean highlighting that diversity even in the face of non-social acceptance. I think the colours that come with Pride, the costumes that come with Pride and the noise and loudness that comes with Pride are all fundamental to that diversity message, and it really strives to be different. Also, it’s a great day out, right? So, people from the same job obviously go to social events, it’s the same thing for LGBT people and allies in Accenture to go to Pride and network over it, and also just to have that common interest together, to show that support and to do that advocacy work. It’s a brilliant experience.