Accenture comes out of the closet

Accenture embraces diversity and fosters greater inclusivity in society with new Johannesburg Pride sponsorship.

Accenture SA announced its new sponsorship agreement with Johannesburg Pride on Thursday through which they aim to expand the reach and impact of its commitment to inclusive workplace practices and its support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) community across South Africa. 

Part of the agreement entails Accenture sponsoring the ‘Beyond the Closet’ event hosted on 25 October, which offers a positive stance on the LGBT+ community’s daily life and aims to address daily topics dealing with legal rights, workplace equality, civil union and marriage requirements, family planning, and health. 

Jared Daniels, products technology consulting manager and pride lead for Accenture South Africa stated: 

“This sponsorship is our way of coming out to the world, as we plan to help our partners, clients and the broader community build a greater culture of acceptance and understanding.” 

He is confident that the sponsorship will showcase Accenture’s willingness to take a leading role as a responsible corporate citizen of South Africa, to champion equal human rights for all. He says it is also the ideal platform to communicate their support for the community and to showcase that they attract, value and grow talent from all walks of life. 

Accenture is globally known for the implementation of their progressive employment policies and practices, including workplace training to build awareness and understanding of the LGBT community; policies that ensure the equal treatment of employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and inclusive recruitment, promotion and retention policies, as well as their establishment of a strong global LGBT+ network by participating in Pride Marches to advocate LGBT+ rights, acceptance in society and to raise awareness of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. 

This has resulted in its recognition as a LGBT+ Silver Employer in the South African Workplace Equality Index (SAWEI) and recognition from various organisations like Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and more. 
 
Explains Jared: 
 
“We strive to provide identical employee benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex partners in all the countries in which we operate and where permitted by law. In addition, in the US, comprehensive health benefits are offered to US-based transgender employees, including coverage for hormone therapy, mental health counselling and transgender-specific surgeries.”
 
In South Africa, Pride Month is celebrated during October in Johannesburg. Last year almost 50 000 people participated and the organisers intend to expand the initiative with a four-day festival that will host seven events, including the Stand up for Passion breakfast. 
 
“Our strategic intent lies not only in the actual pride celebrations, but in building individual and collective ‘pride’ within the LGBT+ community and to liberate these individuals across Africa to live their most authentic life,” explains Kaye Ally, chairperson for Johannesburg Pride.