Fostering a sense of safety and belonging: Avanade’s LGBTQ+ Employee Network (Prism) expands into Growth Markets
- Posted on June 14, 2023
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
As we celebrate Pride Month this June, it’s a time to reflect on just how far we have come since the Stonewall riots. However, progress does not mean the fight for rights and equality ever ends. As the world faces challenges both new and ongoing, we all have a role to play in standing up for the rights of others.
At Avanade, inclusion and diversity are part of everything we do – from how we treat people, to how we make decisions and the solutions we take to market. We want to ensure that all our people feel inspired, confident, cared for and comfortable to bring their whole selves to work without fear of discrimination.
Avanade’s LGBTQ+ Employee Network (Prism) has been one of our central pillars for championing an inclusive and diverse workplace since 2013. Starting as Avanade’s first employee resource group (ERG), Prism gives all our colleagues and communities the opportunity to be acknowledged, to feel seen, to be heard and to know they are welcome at Avanade.
Despite the progress made over the past several decades, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination. We know that in Growth Markets (our business area that includes regions in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America), some of our communities are in countries where it may not be safe to live as their authentic selves and they continue to experience fear and anxiety. We wanted to create a safe space and show our support for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and community wherever they may be, which is why we are very excited to have expanded Prism into Growth Markets.
How Prism supports our LGBTQ+ community
Prism’s mission is to empower and support our employees through visibility, knowledge, culture and connections as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
With Prism, we have also taken a public stance supporting the broader community – through advocacy, volunteering, partnerships, events and encouraging our people to be loud and proud that they are part of the LGBTQ+ community at Avanade. For example, in countries where it is unsafe to disclose LGBTQ+ status, Prism provides a space for our employees to safely share, discuss issues and challenges and receive support. In other countries, we have gender-neutral policies in place (such as gender neutral paid parental leave) and are working diligently to broaden awareness of LGBTQ+ topics through forums and trainings.
We base the success of our employee network and program on four guiding pillars:
- Visibility – Advocating for and giving a voice to our LGBTQ+ community and allies, encouraging our people to be their authentic selves.
- Knowledge – Acting as a source of knowledge for Avanade while providing training, support and education for our employees.
- Culture – Courageously supporting and amplifying causes that our employees, clients and communities care about.
- Community – Fostering and expanding our global reach inside and outside the workplace.
Cementing our commitment to our people, Rodrigo Caserta, Growth Markets Area President, has stepped into the role as Executive Sponsor for Prism’s chapter in Growth Markets. He shared his thoughts about the expansion: “The safety and well-being of our people is always our top priority. As we’re operating in a highly diverse environment in Growth Markets, we are implementing different approaches to care for our people and create a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”
The world is at an inflection point in human history where long-suppressed unique identities are finally finding their voices. This is a great opportunity to embrace these new perspectives, learn from them and work together to make a genuine human impact. At Avanade, we will support this vision by continuing to build momentum with Prism – expanding educational moments, elevating LGBTQ+-focused allyship across Avanade and emphasizing local networks.