Accenture priding itself on culture of equality and inclusivity
Consultancy firm is building up to Pride this year by highlighting mental health connections
Accenture employees taking part in the Pride parade
Consultancy firm Accenture has been operating in Ireland since 1969, and the company’s docklands location is a hub for the broad array of professional services that Accenture offers, as well as a base for more than 3,000 employees.
“It is essential that an organisation’s engagement with Pride comes from a place of sincerity,” says Brendan Byrne, “Pride At Accenture” network lead. “It must reflect the core values that already exist within the organisation in order to have an authentic meaning to its employee.”
The company is focused on not just offering support directly to LGBT+ employees, but creating a culture of inclusivity that encompasses all of the people working there.
“At Accenture, we have incredible support from our internal LGBT Ally Network,” says Byrne.
“An ally is someone who takes action to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Our allies actively take part in our annual Pride celebrations and keep on top of what we are doing as a company in this space. Having informed, visible and vocal allies is key in creating an inclusive environment. It’s also an opportunity for our employees to show their support during the biggest festival in the LGBT+ calendar. Last year we had over 150 colleagues, family and friends march in the parade.”
This year the company has been building up to Pride by highlighting mental health connections. “LGBT+ mental health is something that we take particularly seriously,” says Byrne.
“At the start of June, we held a joint LGBT+ and mental health ally event as we wanted to continue that conversation in a very open environment, supported by our research and personal stories.”
Accenture’s own research on mental health and equality has been an important source of information in showing how and why inclusivity is essential to employee well-being, and business success.
“Our recent research on equality, Getting to Equal, has shown very strong correlations between mental health and inclusion,” says Byrne. “At its simplest, a culture of equality within an organisation drives both innovation and growth. The findings highlighted that where a culture of equality was present in an organisation (driven by 40 workplace factors), LGBT+ employees were up to three times more likely to advance to senior manager or above. They were also three times more satisfied with their career progression.
“Another piece of research conducted by Accenture – It’s not 1 in 4; It’s all of us – showed that 90 per cent of workers are touched by mental health challenges in some way, either personally or through someone they are close to. When employers recognise this and create a culture that supports workers’ mental health, workers are more likely to speak openly, to know where to go for help or advice and are more than twice as likely to love their job.”
Accenture’s LGBT+ support includes many initiatives that run outside of Pride, including support of the GAZE International LGBT film festival in August. “Much like a puppy is not just for Christmas, LGBT+ support is not just for June,” says Byrne. “Whether it is through informal monthly meet-ups, formal LGBT+ mentoring programmes, support to our local leadership team, or inputting to HR policy reviews, we strive to ensure that support is available all year around for those that are new to Accenture but also to those of us that have been around a while.”