Posted: 28 Aug. 2019 10 min. read

Stand Up. Stand Out. Support LGBTI+ inclusion

As Wear it Purple Day approaches on 30 August, we are using this time at Deloitte to shine a light on LGBTI+ inclusion across our firm and more broadly.

Wear it Purple Day reminds us about the importance of creating a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace for everyone and calling out bullying, harassment and homophobia.

It’s an opportunity for each of us to think about how we can Stand Up and Stand Out – the theme of this year’s Wear it Purple Day.

I know from personal experience that every single person can be instrumental in creating a workplace where you not only feel safe and included – but also valued and celebrated for who you are. This is why each year at Deloitte we recognise Wear it Purple Day with events across our offices – because it’s worth celebrating our people.

One of the Wear it Purple Day principles is to champion role models to help young people establish the confidence to be who they are. At Deloitte, we similarly value the significant role our many leaders have in creating a great culture for our people.

In my role as the National Lead Sponsor for GLOBE, our LGBTI+ network, I feel so lucky and proud to contribute to this culture. But it takes a village, as they say, to make this possible and to really make an impact at all levels and in all areas of our firm. This includes our GLOBE Partner Champions in each market, our first National GLOBE Ally Lead, plus our GLOBE Network Chair.

So we’ve asked each leader how they Stand Up, Stand Out, and encourage others to create an inclusive environment for all.

Kate Grimley, our GLOBE Brisbane Lead: Be present, be visible, be vocal and be a really good listener. And sometimes you’ve got to really stand out with some bright lights, balloons and rainbows!

Kate and the Brisbane office launching their first Interfirm event with Justice Kirby in attendance

Helena Hamilton, our GLOBE Melbourne Lead: For me, a productive workplace is about what you bring to the table. Not what you wear, how you look, or what your orientation or preferences are. My Stand Up and Stand Out position is to create self-awareness about biases and call out when judgements are made on anything other than what you bring to the table.

Nicki Hutley, our National GLOBE Ally Lead: I talk about my gay and transgender daughters with pride. I have to admit talking openly was difficult at first, and still can be when I feel a lack of acceptance. But walking with them and their friends in the Rainbow March for Marriage Equality was a really joyous experience and helped us to feel positive at a time when many LGBTI+ people felt deep hurt, confusion and even depression. Allies can help by watching their language, making sure they are not acting on unconscious bias, act as mentors, and be sensitive to the needs of their LGBTI+ colleagues. Sometimes, the best way to be inclusive is to celebrate the things we hold in common, rather than our differences.

Adrian Letilovic, our GLOBE Network Chair: For me ‘Stand Up, Stand Out’ is all about being a voice for those who are too often left unmentioned. LGBTI+ individuals still face significant challenges in workplaces and society more broadly, but especially the “BTI+” of our community. I encourage everyone this Wear it Purple Day to think about how their own actions might be able to help make a difference for underrepresented communities. We all have a role to play as an ally for someone else – so have the courage to be seen and be heard. One small act by one person may not seem like much but an ocean is made from a million raindrops!

Denise Lucero, our GLOBE Sydney Lead: Over the last couple of years I’ve conducted around 500 mentoring sessions, which I’m very proud of. I think mentoring is an incredibly important way to look out for others and make sure they have role models to guide them on their professional and personal journey. I would encourage everyone to be involved in mentoring to help create an inclusive environment.

I use a value-based view to guide mentees on their journey. This helps them understand who they are by identifying their values – to define who they are personally. In the end, it’s not about whether you’re gay or a veteran or Latino (all three of these identities belong to me, for example) but rather it’s about who you are as a person.

My three values are courage, character and truth. I live these values every day. For me, being part of Deloitte’s 2018 Outstanding 50 LGBTI Leaders scared me to death – but I had to do it. It contributed to the value I place on having courage and helped me grow personally.

Denise and the Sydney office celebrating Mardi Gras 2019

John O’Brien, our GLOBE SANTAS Lead: For me, the most important aspect of building an inclusive workplace is to stand up and call out every time you hear someone make a statement or a joke that may make a colleague feel unable to show their whole self. It can be uncomfortable to call someone out and I know that I sometimes fail in this – but if we all help each other out, we can build an amazing place to work for everyone.

Jacqui Peachey, our GLOBE Perth Lead: It can mean so much to those around us to stand up and show support for LGBTI+ initiatives. And it can be as simple as wearing purple on Wear it Purple Day. Personally, I shall be hunting for something a little more palatable than my Dockers jersey.

David Winters, our GLOBE Canberra Lead: I encourage everyone to participate in Wear it Purple Day, with the aim of gaining greater awareness and understanding of its purpose. Another event I’m looking forward to is the Out and Loud Choral Festival, taking place in October here in Canberra. Deloitte is a proud major sponsor and it will bring together LGBTI+ choirs from across Australia and New Zealand. This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and draw inspiration from the LGBTI+ community through music!

So how will you Stand Up and Stand Out? 

David and GLOBE Canberra supporting Spring Out 2018

Our author

Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson

Partner, Consulting

Robbie leads the Apple alliance relationship for Deloitte nationally, and is an Experience Design Partner in the Consulting practice, based in Sydney. He is also Deloitte’s Virtual Office Managing Partner. Robbie has a passion for fusing human-centred design and business to facilitate transformation programs with clients. With 22 years’ experience, he has worked on multiple global design projects, combining service design with spatial and digital strategies to create omni channel solutions. A key differentiator for Robbie and his team is to bring customers and employees into the heart of the design process to help rapidly prototype ideas and ensure that the successful ideas turn into robust, financially successful concepts. Robbie has worked across many industry sectors with a keen focus in financial services, telco, automotive and retail. Robbie is also the national leader for Deloitte’s LGBTI Network ‘GLOBE’ in Australia. He sits on the Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Council for Deloitte, as well as the advisory board for ACON and is a board member for Wear It Purple. As Deloitte’s most senior ‘Out role model’ Robbie strongly believes that all our people should be able to bring their whole self to work every day, advocating for a more inclusive workplace for all our people.