Employee-led LGBT network groups bring together LGBT staff to advance sexual orientation and gender identity equality across organisations and their operational countries. A coordinated global LGBT network links local chapters and supports the growth of new local groups.
Accenture’s global LGBT employee network group is integral to ensuring its LGBT staff are supported wherever they work. The global Pride at Accenture network regularly consults with senior leadership and its progress is measured against a scorecard that identifies priorities and key success factors across all countries. Local in-country networks are active in 45 countries, with global strategy, progress, tools, and best practice being shared between global and in-country networks during quarterly calls. The global network has been actively involved in strategic interventions and activities to advance LGBT inclusion at Accenture. Over the past year, this has included consulting on making workplaces more trans inclusive, for instance by developing the case for trans-inclusive healthcare benefits.
Stonewall interviewed Monica Boll, Managing Director and Rica Paras, Technology Solutions Architect at Accenture.
How has having a successful global network contributed towards your wider LGBT inclusion work?
Monica: A global network enables us to benefit from the wealth of experiences and understandings across the countries we work in. It also supports intersectionality, as our LGBTQ network can engage with other groups focusing on different aspects of people’s identities.
Rica: Some of our in-country networks are more mature, while others are just getting started. A global network allows us to identify this and support new networks or those in more challenging contexts with a template we know has worked elsewhere. This improves both the pace at which we can set up networks and empowers those networks to work effectively from the start.
What do you believe are the three most important factors in your global network’s success?
Monica: The courage of the more mature members of our networks, who were brave enough to bring their authentic selves to work more than 20 years ago, was the foundation of our network’s success. Having such committed allies and leadership has also been hugely important.
Rica: Having a global network where everyone feels part of a shared vision and purpose has been vital to our success. Also, establishing connections with people who are passionate about LGBT inclusion has enabled us to channel their support. Lastly, developing networks in so many markets has allowed us to hone our approach and apply it across our global operations.
Why do you think having a global network as well as local chapters is important?
Monica: The global network helps us inform strategy, align objectives and ensures we have the right global priorities. This is complemented by local networks, who are experts on the situation on the ground and best placed to advise on the legal and social situation in their country or city.
Rica: Local network chapters also give a personal touch to the network. The local network allows our people to interact and makes you feel you’re part of a community. When I was hired five years ago, the fact that Accenture had an LGBT network was my top consideration, so I’ve seen firsthand how beneficial they are to creating a sense of belonging.