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Shaping an equal workplace with Pride

June 16, 2022

Pride Season with Stories of Our People
Pride Season with Stories of Our People

Pride season is a time to celebrate authenticity, inclusion, diversity, acceptance and belonging.

But Pride means more.

It means more innovation. Visibility. Togetherness. Opportunity.

And it also means more efforts are needed to ensure our world and place of work are inclusive and equal for everyone.

With equal benefits for same-sex couples in every country where the law permits, trans-affirming health benefits in 17 countries (and more to come), and a global Ally program with more than 120,000 members, we strive to do more for our people. Every day.

So, how do we walk the talk?

We listen. We talk. We support. We embrace change. And we champion those who make a real difference. 

Meet four of them: Zahara, Ana, Luciano and Joseph. Each share how workplace culture has empowered them to be their true, authentic selves, and how they in turn have helped shape that culture.

    "Be the culture you want to see.”

    It was Accenture’s culture and commitment to equality that first attracted Zahara Fernandes to join our team in India four years ago.

    Zahara spent over three decades of her life knowing she was bisexual, but without the comfort and confidence to declare it out loud. It was only after 18 months of forming genuine relationships at Accenture that Zahara came out to her colleagues when she was nominated for a leadership development program. She felt validated and accepted when the news was received with the utmost warmth.

    Zahara’s work at Accenture helps to bring trust and safety into online interactions. “As the global lead for learning, quality and change in trust and safety for one of our large platform clients, my work allows us to develop competence in new hires to keep our client’s platform safe for advertisers, users and app developers and build trust in online transactions among users and businesses. What I do has real-world implications for millions of users and allows our people at Accenture to learn, grow and become successful,” says Zahara.

    Zahara motivates her team to have agency of their own lives and craft stories that are unique to them. As an out, proud and visible leader, she contributes immensely toward advancing our culture of equality for all.

    “Big changes from small actions.”

    It was at a 2016 Pride season celebration at Accenture when Ana Flavia Bezerra first spoke openly about her sexual orientation in the workplace. That event was attended by more than a thousand people. After that, there was no looking back.

    Today, Ana works tirelessly with Accenture’s Pride community. She focuses on imparting training to allies and career development for our people in the LGBTIQ+ community.

    Ana started her career at Accenture in Brazil as a consultant in the Operations delivery structure. Since then, she excelled in multiple roles and grew through the ranks to her current role in Accenture Operations as an account lead for a large telecom client.

    Ana manages the relationship with the client and works toward achieving contract goals and identifying new opportunities. Working with different topics and challenges every day excites her and encourages her to constantly seek new knowledge and ideas.

    As the Pride committee lead and member of an anti-racism, racial equality and inclusion committee in Brazil, Ana believes in the power of taking individual responsibility and action.

    These small actions form a wave of transformation. I want to be part of this wave. I want other Black lesbian girls to find a more receptive, loving world that values them. I’ve achieved a lot of good in my life and want to share that.

    “No place for fear.”

    Luciano Fattore says Accenture’s support and inclusive workplace culture has helped him live authentically and openly.

    Having been involved with the Pride ally community since he started working at Accenture, Luciano felt free to open his heart and come out as gay to his team. “If it weren’t for Accenture, I wouldn’t have the life I live now, with my husband and my son. Being supported and recognized by Accenture makes a huge difference in my life. I know that my story can help my colleagues and inspire more people to be themselves as fear should not have a place in anyone’s life.”

    As an AI software automation developer at Accenture in Italy, Luciano loves to discover new ways of enhancing employee productivity. Luciano is equally passionate about delivering value to the customer and the day-to-day interactions and meetings with his team in an inclusive, positive environment.

    “I couldn’t have had a better workplace than Accenture in terms of career development, culture and learning.”

    “Be the person your younger self needed.”

    As a kid, Joseph (Joe) Taiano was captivated by television commercials and their addictive jingles. Like most kids, he identified with retail brands and correlated them to what was affluent, hip or stylish. But Joe recalls that at that time, retail TV commercials and print advertisements, for the most part, showed no diversity.

    Today, retail marketing has become more inclusive and diverse with changing perceptions and consumer preferences. As head of marketing for Accenture Song, which accelerates growth and value for our clients through sustained customer relevance, Joe contributes to this change.

    For instance, in his early days as a marketer, he made a concerted effort to show all dimensions of diversity in our retail marketing materials. “I had not seen ‘me’ represented, so I incorporated visuals of LGBTIQ+ families and couples.”

    As an out and proud leader, Joe is always looking out for the best ways to reach the LGBTIQ+ community, and to develop internal and external programs with a focus on equality. “It’s only when you create a culture of equality, where everyone feels like they belong, that diversity can truly flourish.”

    Joe is a strong ally for others in the Pride community. “Be the person your younger self needed. Pride means more than celebrations and parties. It’s a time for us to show up for ourselves and one another. To be proud of how far we’ve come but acknowledge how far we have to go.”

    If you would like to learn more about our LGBTIQ+ inclusion programs or have any questions, please contact our Global Pride at Accenture leadership team.

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