‘Equality Dialogue: Pride Means More Belonging’ panelists (top row, from left) Mela Habijan, Miss Trans Global 2020 and panel moderator; Carmen Whateley, Pride Executive Sponsor, Accenture South Africa; Pia Wurtzhbach, LGBTQ+ ally and Miss Universe 2015 and United Nations AIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia Pacific; (bottom row, from left) Mr. Bayani, interpreter; Michael Berg, Design Director at Accenture Interactive; and Lester Vasquez, Workplace associate manager, Accenture in the Philippines. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ACCENTURE
In line with its commitment to become the most inclusive and diverse employer in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry in the Philippines, Accenture organized various events and panel discussions to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month among its offices in the Philippines and South Africa.
With the theme, “Pride Means More,” Accenture’s Pride Month celebration was centered on the pivotal role that allies play in supporting and empowering members of the LGBTQ+ community to feel that they belong and can thrive equally.
In an Accenture research titled “Culture of Equality in the Workplace,” which was conducted in 2020, only 77 out of 195 countries prohibit discrimination against employees because of sexual orientation. Even in the most progressive countries, only 40 percent of LGBTQ+ employees are fully open about their gender identity, which suggests that discomfort is still present.
Jenny Hans, Accenture Philippines’ Inclusion and Diversity Lead, highlighted the significant strides that organizations like Accenture have made in creating safe and inclusive workplaces for all.
“As a people-focused company, Accenture strives to build a culture that promotes authenticity, embraces meaningful connections and boosts resilience, which are important now more than ever.
As allies for equality, we are steadfast in our commitment to promote real inclusion and positive change every day,” she said.
‘Equality Dialogue: Pride Means More Resilience’ panelist speakers led by Marixi Carlos, Client Experience Lead and I&D Executive Sponsor, Accenture Operations in the Philippines (top/ first row, middle); Pierre Van Wyk, Business and Integration Architecture Associate Director, Accenture in South Africa; and Ronil Villacorta, former Philippine Financial Inter-Industry Pride chair and Board of Trustee member (second row, leftmost and middle) and joined by Niel Sy and George Mathai, Joyce Ann Cacalda and Ted Alexander from Accenture in Philippines and South Africa.
As part of the celebration, Accenture organized “Equality Dialogue,” a series of virtual panel discussions that gathered LGBTQ+ champions, thought leaders, experts, allies and supporters.
“Pride Means More Belonging” panel session tackled the importance of allyship for the LGBTQ+ community with Pia Wurtzhbach, prominent LGBTQ+ ally, Miss Universe 2015 and United Nations AIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia Pacific; Michael Berg, Design Director at Accenture Interactive; Lester Vasquez, Workplace associate manager of Accenture in the Philippines;
Carmen Whateley, Pride Executive Sponsor, Accenture South Africa; and Mela Habijan, Miss Trans Global 2020, who served as panel moderator.
“Pride Means More Resilience” panel session highlighted how organizations can create inclusive practices and foster safe and equal workplaces. Marixi Carlos, Client Experience Lead and Inclusion and Diversity Executive Sponsor, Accenture Operations in the Philippines; Pierre Van Wyk, Business and Integration Architecture associate director, Accenture in South Africa; and Ronil Villacorta, former Philippine Financial Inter-Industry Pride chair and board of trustees member, led the discussion on the importance of empowering LGBT+ communities to break the “lavender ceiling” by giving them the platforms and opportunities where they can be seen, heard, and succeed.
Finally, Accenture culminated this year’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month with “Pride Means More Milestones,” a virtual community activity celebrating friendship and love of the LGBT+ people, allies and champions. The company also premiered “Underground.” the second of five short films under the Stories of Accenture Philippines campaign that demonstrated how an inclusive environment inspires people to be their best selves at work. Launched last May, the campaign showcases poignant and inspiring people stories about the diverse culture and dynamic work environment of Accenture in the Philippines.
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