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We recently marked Wear it Purple Day across Deloitte offices, bringing to life a focus on fostering supportive, safe and accepting environments for LGBTI people. Off the back of this, we knew it was time for some more outstanding insights from our OUT50. We sat down with Geoff Selig, Executive Chairman of IVE Group Limited and OUT50 2016 alumni to explore visibility, diversity and navigating challenges.
I was somewhat surprised! I thought it was a really positive initiative on Deloitte’s part. The concept of the OUT50 is great and the fact that it is now in its second iteration is wonderful. I felt pretty proud to be a part of the 2016 cohort and quite special to be acknowledged in that way. It was unexpected and it also felt good to be part of such a mix and diverse group of people.
We are an incredibly diverse company and were keen to acknowledge this and also drive a program around inclusion. Our focus has been on making our environment more inclusive, as distinct to just recognising our diversity.
The program around Diversity & Inclusion has been very well received with our 1,800 staff and we have also communicated the program to many of our customers – who appreciate and understand the importance of these elements.
People bring different perspectives to the table or the workplace based on who they are and where they have come. These diverse perspectives are very powerful. Diverse teams ultimately drive a more cohesive and stronger team than having all of the same views!
In its simplest form, it’s important for young people and anyone for that matter to feel that they are actually OK in terms of who they are – in the workplace or life generally. If they feel like they genuinely belong in a workplace it can make a world of difference. I think if they do have that level of comfort that opens the pathways in the mind to pursuing your dreams and goals and dealing with professional challenges.
It also enables one to aspire to be a future leader because in the first instance you are feeling more comfortable with who you are. So I think that is the most important starting point because you can’t pursue dreams and goals if you aren’t comfortable in your own skin or in an environment where you don’t feel like you belong.
Focus on things you like being yourself and without being selfish, put yourself forward. A lot of LGBTI people don’t put themselves forward. Treat everyone the same because that’s how life should be. Don’t treat people differently because you think they can help you get from A to B. Be patient and work hard. Make sure authenticity is at the core of everything that you do.
The marriage equality campaign is a wonderful example of the power of storytelling. I see that in my own life when I’m talking through these stories with my nieces, nephews or my three daughters – walking them through my own experience and why marriage equality is important. You can’t underestimate the power of real storytelling.
Some of the stories told through the marriage equality campaign made the world of LGBTI people so much more tangible and real. People could relate to that because it can remind them of someone they know or work with.
Storytelling is the most powerful form of communication because it’s real and there are five degrees of separation between everyone.
Neil is Head of Editorial in The Agency (Deloitte’s Creative Studio) and is passionate about words and the power of storytelling. He loves working in the creative heartbeat of an organisation to bring ideas to life through dynamic, engaging and cutting-edge content. As a creative professional with global expertise in London, New York and Sydney, he connects and unleashes ideas across a diversity of formats. He adores writing, strategy and design.