CGI Partner Kierran Spiers shares their journey at CGI, highlighting the significant role of the LGBT+ Network and various supportive initiatives that have helped them along the way. Learn about CGI's active efforts in celebrating Pride and supporting LGBT+ milestones throughout the year, as well as practical advice for companies looking to enhance their support for LGBT+ employees.

June 2024

Can you share a bit about your background and your involvement with the LGBT+ network at CGI?

I joined CGI as a Service Desk Technical Analyst in 2015 and transitioned to Application Support in 2018. Initially participating in the LGBT+ Network as an ally, my involvement, particularly during Pride season, has led me to embrace my true self and grow in confidence in the workplace. The network has been a source of important learning and memorable experiences, reinforcing my view of the value diversity and inclusion can deliver.

How does CGI UK support the needs of their LGBT+ employees and how has this support benefited you?

The support CGI provides has allowed me to bring my whole self to work and not hide certain aspects of my personality. There is a genuine feeling of openness and understanding, underpinned by initiatives such as pronoun badges and inclusive e-signatures. This acceptance fuels a collaborative and innovative culture in which I feel valued. CGI's commitment to its LGBT+ employees and their diversity is reflected in the active LGBT+ network, which fosters inclusivity across events and external collaborations. For example, a recent ‘know how’ session titled ‘Bystander to Upstander’ empowered network members and advanced our overall culture, allowing colleagues to understand ways to support their LGBT+ co-workers in moving from being passive bystanders to proactive upstanders.

How does CGI celebrate and recognise Pride month and its LGBT+ employees throughout the year?

CGI celebrates Pride month by attending events in the locations we are based throughout the UK, and not just the larger known events, but the smaller ones too! We also hold events throughout the year to recognise various awareness days such as Pride Month, National Coming Out Day, and Transgender Day of Visibility. I feel that everyone in the network is given a forum to share personal triumphs and get recognition of these from others. CGI also actively supports LGBT+ charities and organisations and encourages employees to get involved in volunteering and fundraising efforts. Overall, CGI truly embraces and celebrates workplace diversity, including the LGBT+ community, and strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.

What advice can you give other companies who are looking to provide better support to LGBT+ employees?

My Advice would be to engage with your LGBT+ community to promote open dialogs, ensuring a work environment that is both safe and inclusive, allowing for free self-expression without fear of backlash. Open communication is instrumental in shaping policies that stand against discrimination of any kind. Creating an LGBT+ Network is also key and has been of real benefit to me, offering a platform for the exchange of experiences and emphasising mutual respect. Finally, celebrating LGBT+ milestones and events, both inside and outside the workplace, will help to underpin an inclusive ethos, while supporting and sponsoring LGBT+ initiatives will demonstrate your company’s commitment beyond the workplace to embracing a more supportive and inclusive environment for your LGBT+ employees, fostering a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.