by Andrea Greene
- Marketing & Communications Officer
Diversity is important to Sopra Steria. In the Benelux, too, we are committed to creating a more inclusive workplace culture that truly embraces all aspects of human difference. This year we decided to give our LGBT+ community the right visibility during the Pride Month of June. And since raising awareness generally starts by spreading knowledge, we felt that an educational campaign was probably the right way to go about it.
As a major player in the digital sector, Sopra Steria definitely has a role to play in promoting equal opportunities and fighting against all forms of discrimination. That’s why for many years now we have been deploying a policy of social responsibility in favour of a responsible digital environment and a more inclusive society.
One of that policy’s pillars is the inclusion of LGBT+ people. As such, we guarantee our teams a working environment that is enriched by the singularities of each person to promote their personal and professional development, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Our approach to promoting and supporting gender diversity in the workplace is based on the following commitments:
- Preventing all forms of discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Allowing employees to be themselves and not have to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity at work.
- Ensuring equal treatment of all employees regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Supporting employees who are victims of discriminatory comments or actions.
These commitments allow us to build a workforce where every colleague feels valued, fairly treated, respected and able to reach their full potential.
Broadening our scope
This year we decided to use the Pride Month of June to give our LGBT+ community in the Benelux the right visibility. This initiative responded to our growing desire to broaden the scope of DiversiTeam, our local workgroup on gender diversity, beyond gender equity. We wished to include other forms of gender and sexual diversity in the workplace as well. For that reason, we thought that the first steps should be to educate and inform our teams about what gender and sexual diversity means and how it manifests itself within our company.
It is important to stress, though, that this month long educational campaign was not about forcing LGBT+ employees to come out at work. It was solely about enabling those employees who wish to disclose their sexual orientation and/or gender identity to continue to benefit from a respectful, caring and lawful working environment.
The meaning of Pride
Pride Month is a full month dedicated to celebrating LGBT+ communities all around the world. This annual celebration consists of more than parades and parties, however, and with our campaign we wanted to help our colleagues navigate what Pride is actually all about. What does it stand for and why is it celebrated? What is Sopra Steria doing to support Pride and what are our commitments to diversity? Those are the kinds of questions we wanted to answer.
Our educational campaign consisted of different actions and activities, all designed to better inform our colleagues about Pride and what it means to be a true ally to our LGBT+ community. As a first step, we invited them to modify their email signature for the duration of June and support the rainbow with the Sopra Steria Group (SSG) Pride logo, as a gesture of their commitment to diversity. We followed that up with an infographic which fully explained what Pride means, along with all its symbols and its origins. We continued our educational journey by sharing with our colleagues a number of (information) resources that they might find useful and applicable, ranging from international resources at the UN and EU level, for instance, to local resources in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
Real change from the ground up
We then took the campaign to another level with our first webinar on Gender and Sexual Diversity in the workplace. Organised by KLIQ, çavaria’s centre for training and consultancy, this educational session managed to arm our colleagues with tips and tricks on how to make their workplace a more welcoming space for people of all genders and sexual orientations.
On top of all this activity, we also created a dedicated page on F2F[B441] where our teams can find out how Sopra Steria is committed to and takes action to better include LGBT+ people in the workplace. We then gathered quotes from colleagues sharing their experiences, experiences, views and feelings on this important issue and shared them in our channles. Finally, to close our Pride Month in style, we organised a short video showcasing all of the allies we have at Sopra Steria Benelux.
As this list of achievements hopefully illustrates, Sopra Steria Benelux doesn’t care for empty campaigns and a mandatory post on social media. We aim for profound and lasting change from the ground up. And we truly hope that with this campaign we’ve built a solid foundation for the future and have contributed to a better workplace by educating our colleagues on the importance of diversity and true allyship with their LGBT+ colleagues.
Intrigued by our commitments to create equal opportunities and promote diversity and inclusion? Read on!