Capgemini’s employee group OUTfront has led the company’s progress towards inclusivity and diversity for years. Here, colleagues from Capgemini Australia New Zealand, and Capgemini North America, share their recent success stories.
When we’re at work, we want to be accepted for who we are. We want our colleagues to respect and welcome us. We want to feel comfortable enough to be our true selves.
For 13 years, OUTfront has been striving to make this fundamental right a reality.
This global network of Capgemini employees was formed in 2007 to foster a supportive, inclusive, and understanding working environment for everyone by providing information and coordinating activities while supporting the professional growth of LGBTQIA+ colleagues.
Underscoring the importance of this work, a recent report by DiversityBestPractices.com found that one in four LGBTQIA+ employees in the US has heard derogatory or negative comments at work. Moreover, according to a recent Capgemini Employee Survey, two thirds (67%) of LGBTQ+ employees opted not to report anti-LGBT remarks to human resources.
Australia and New Zealand: Taking pride
The OUTfront team in Capgemini Australia and New Zealand has been active for just under three years, and already has a strong network of over 100 members, including its allies.
The group commenced a program of works in 2019, which enabled them to submit to the Australian Workplace Equality Index in March 2020, and resulted in a “Gold” status and a listing in the top three employers in Australia for workplace LGBTQ+ inclusion. As part of this process, the team created new best practices regarding inclusive policies, as well as policy and guidelines for gender-diverse employees wishing to join Capgemini and for those wishing to affirm their gender.
The group also organized days of significance for LGBTQ+ colleagues, hosted guest speaker events, and held Diversity Awards.
A high point was the team’s contribution to helping the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the City of Sydney win their bid to host World Pride in 2023 by creating a digital inclusion strategy on a pro-bono basis.
Susan Beeston, managing director, Capgemini Invent, Australia and New Zealand, marched on behalf of Capgemini at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2019 parade.
“From within our current situation, Mardi Gras seems like another world, but I’ll never forget the experience, partly because of the thrill of the parade, but also because it’s an opportunity to actively support the causes it represents. For me, it was an important milestone in becoming a visible and vocal ally. Since that night, I have stood up and become the executive sponsor of Capgemini’s OUTfront Ally network in Australia and New Zealand,” she says.
The OUTfront team in North America has also been busy. In 2019, it helped Capgemini America achieve a perfect score of 100 on the “Best places to work for LGBTQIA+” workplace equality index from the Human Rights Campaign, joining a roster of leading global brands.
During the process, Capgemini was recognized for its LGBTQIA+ policies and practices, including its transgender-inclusive health benefits. This was the outcome of an initiative led by OUTfront North America in 2017, in which the group successfully campaigned for the inclusion of transgender health benefits for all of Capgemini America’s employees.
Janet Pope, North America Corporate Social Responsibility Director, says: “Our OUTfront employee resource group has been at the forefront of driving change in our organization since its inception over a decade ago, and we continue to be committed to actively building an organization that values diversity and inclusion.”
OUTfront supported Pride Month 2020
OUTfront teams across Capgemini were delighted to be leading our organization’s participation in Pride Month 2020. This year’s events took into account of the new social distancing arrangements, with digital challenges and hackathons replacing the usual carnivals and street parties.
“We couldn’t physically be together to celebrate Pride,” says Pope. “But we still wanted to acknowledge how far we’ve come in our communities and workplaces in terms of including LGBTQ+ people while recognizing how much more work we still have to do to support our black, queer and trans communities.”
Whether we celebrate in person or online, Capgemini firmly believes Pride Month is a chance to champion LGBTQIA+ dignity and self-affirmation, promoting equal rights for everyone.