"Visible role models are important. That's why it's critical to support the development of future LGBTIQ+ leaders and give them a platform to talk about inclusion and diversity." Interview with Marco Ziegler.
"Always be yourself and practice authenticity – visibility is a powerful way to advance equality for the LGBTIQ+ community."
- Marco Ziegler (Jury Member at RAHM | The LGBTIQ+ Leadership Contest 2021)
Karolina: Thank you so much for being our Proud Host of RAHM Contest! How does supporting and hosting an LGBTIQ+ project like the RAHM Contest benefits Accenture and its employees?
Marco: We are committed to creating a culture of equality for all that inspires authenticity and enables our people to advance and thrive. This commitment extends beyond our workplace; we believe in working with our communities, clients and our partners to advance equality. We’re proud to invest in the next generation of LGBTIQ+ leaders by supporting the RAHM Contest. Through strategic partnerships like this one, our people can see and understand our commitment to LGBTIQ+ inclusion.
Karolina: You showcase your commitment to diversity and inclusion also with your motto - "Bring your authentic self to work.” So simple, yet so meaningful. What was the kick off to bring D&I values to the core of your company.
Marco: Accenture has a long history of advancing inclusion and diversity—it’s central to our core values and is one of the reasons why I joined the company. Since joining over 20 years ago, I’ve been fortunate to always feel comfortable being my authentic self at work. I proudly talk about my husband and family with colleagues and clients. However, I know this isn’t the reality for everyone, so I committed to start my career at Accenture as a visible and out leader to help drive change. While there’s more work to be done, I’m proud of the progress Accenture has made. And not only do we believe it’s the right thing to do, but we also know that our culture of equality drives innovation and allows us to deliver our best to our clients and help them progress in their own inclusion and diversity journeys.
Karolina: Accenture is ranked every year as one of the most LGBTIQ+ friendly workplaces in Germany. How do you ensure a safe work environment for LGBTIQ+ people on managerial, structural and cultural levels?
Marco: Ensuring the safety of our people is of the most importance. Our commitment to equality starts with our leaders at the highest levels and every one of our people is responsible for driving our workplace culture. Our powerful global Pride ally community, with more than 120,000 people, is instrumental in accelerating an inclusive and equal environment. As Accenture’s Global Pride Network Co-Sponsor, I provide leadership to the Pride Network, guide other executives on advancing LGBTIQ+ equality and ensure an intersectional approach to inclusion and diversity.
We have incredibly robust inclusion and diversity programs, and we set strategies and goals for advancing our culture of equality. In each country where we operate, we have a senior leader who champions inclusion and diversity. We regularly measure our progress on a country-level through a Pride scorecard which evaluates key priorities.
Karolina: What 3 valuable advice/recommendations would you give to young LGBTIQ+ students and professionals who are just at the beginning of their career?
Marco: First and most important, always be yourself and practice authenticity – visibility is a powerful way to advance equality for the LGBTIQ+ community.
Second, it is so important for your professional journey to stay focused on growing and developing your network. And if your organization has an LGBTIQ+ employee network, get involved and seek leadership opportunities. If there’s not an existing employee network, start one!
Third, learn to be an ally for everyone. We know from being in the LGBTIQ+ community that we appreciate allies who are vocal, visible and take action to support us. We should pay it forward to others in the community, but also for people across all dimensions of diversity.
These are all important leadership skills.
Apply for the RAHM | The LGBT+ Leadership Contest 2021: Learn more about the contest!