Capgemini People Blog

Capgemini People Blog

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

LGBT Life at Capgemini - Toni Potter, A New Starter

Category : Community

I recently spoke with a new starter, Toni Potter, who is an active part of OUTfront our LGBT Network, about her experience joining Capgemini as a member of the LGBT community. 

Toni wrote:

I joined Capgemini on the graduate scheme in July 2016. As a graduate intake, and as individuals, we were instantly made to feel welcome by the GAP (Graduate Apprentice and Placement programme) team. Induction consisted of a mixture of learning, team building and fun, and was used to get us all talking and introduce us to the business, its background and even a bit of its future. There were also evening activities to allow us all to get to know each other and relax.

When I then moved into my business unit and met the team I would be working with, I was just as warmly welcomed and made to feel at ease. No different to anyone else joining the company.

However, as a member of the LGBT community, I was very aware of the fact that I would have to “come out” so to speak, to my new work colleagues. I am a very open person, and don’t see my sexuality as something I have to share with people I meet; this isn’t to say I hide it, it’s just not important. I am me, and my sexuality doesn’t change or define that. When meeting new people, especially in the workplace, conversations often turn to home life; what you might do for a hobby, what you did on the weekend etc. When discussing my home life, I would refer to my “partner”, something I would do irrespective of gender, and so, when people then ask “What does he do for a living?”, the short awaited “coming out” would arise, in my corrective response, “she”….

In my time at Capgemini I have experienced no discrimination or direct homophobia, whatsoever. Everyone has been more than welcoming and upon learning I am a member of the LGBT community, nothing has changed – no one has really even noticed or pointed it out as “different”, it just is and that is a great feeling to have in a place you spend most of your time!

Soon after joining Capgemini and settled in, I found OUTFront, the Capgemini LGBT initiative.

So far in my time with OUTFront, I have been welcomed as part of the initiative and trusted with being part of an upcoming Capgemini + client LGBT event. My ideas for the event have been welcomed, and I am constantly encouraged to share opinions and ideas and get involved. I think it is great that we have an LGBT initiative at Capgemini, however the ultimate goal would obviously be not to need one.

With that said, what I hope to see at the upcoming LGBT event is the raising of awareness. I have found that a huge amount of people have never actually heard the expression “LGBT” and don’t know what it stands for – so how can people be actively inclusive if they have no knowledge?

In all, I think Capgemini is a wholeheartedly inclusive company that takes pride in employing a vastly diverse group of people, all of which makes it a very comfortable place to work for those who may be members of minority groups. I would suggest that a little push is needed to raise awareness of the LGBT community at Capgemini and of OUTFront, as well as some commitment from non-LGBT members to support the OUTFront initiative and attend such events.

For more information about OUTfront: LGBT@Capgemini go to https://www.uk.capgemini.com/outfront-our-capgemini-uk-lgbt-employee-network

About the author

Jane Steed
Jane Steed
Jane Steed is a qualified PMO Manager (Advanced ISEB PPSO Accredited) who has been working in Project and Programme Offices since 1994 within Telecoms, Finance, Life Sciences, Insurance, Utilities and Retail Sectors and, between 2005 and 2010, in Aspire. Her key skills are PMO management, planning and analysis, managing disparate PMO teams across multiple sites and multiple business units.

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