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We are not all the same, but we are all equal

May 15, 2020

This May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) is focusing on “Breaking the silence.” We must take this day as an opportunity to raise awareness about the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people. It is also a chance to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

A person’s gender identity should never be a cause to feel afraid or discriminated against. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. In recent years, LGBT+ people have made tremendous progress globally in claiming rights and inclusion. However, some of them continue to face widespread discrimination and violence, which leads to exclusion. This negatively affects both the lives of LGBT+ people as well as the communities and economies in which they live.

As Group Diversity and Inclusion director at Capgemini, my focus is on giving the opportunity to all our colleagues to be their authentic self, ensuring an inclusive environment where they can thrive regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or background.

This commitment starts by fostering a better understanding of the challenges of those facing discrimination. Trainings, webinars, workshops, and more broadly, awareness campaigns are crucial in helping to fight against stereotypes and unconscious bias. It also means making sure that we have the right tools to help fighting against any sort of discrimination: inclusive HR process and leadership management, platforms or helpline to raise concerns on ethics and behavior issues, code of business ethics, etc.

Employees resource groups are also key to creating a more inclusive work environment. At Capgemini, our LGBT+ employee resource group OUTFront is instrumental in raising awareness and effecting change in the workplace. They foster a sense of community for employees from underrepresented groups, allowing them a safe space in which to discuss their achievements and challenges. Their contribution has notably been crucial in Capgemini US being named among the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and receiving a perfect score on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index developed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. In Canada, Capgemini has been recognized as a top diversity employer (2017/2018) and recognized in the UK as a top company by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for the last 3 years.

Leading companies can play a transformative role to ensure LGBT+ people are not left behind by committing first to an equal workplace with equal opportunities. If you want to move the dial, you have to make some positive interventions as the dial won’t move with good intent alone.

Raising our voices against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia on May 17 is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to respect human dignity and to champion human rights. We must act for positive and inclusive futures for all to ensure that no one is left behind.

It is the everyday acts, the seemingly small things, that can make a big difference in creating a truly inclusive workplace.

Read more on diversity and inclusive practices: 6 Keys to Increasing Diversity & Inclusion at Your Workplace

Learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion strategy at Capgemini.