This week I spoke with a young Capgemini employee who I am thrilled to hear has found a safe space within Capgemini.
I joined Capgemini on the GAP (Graduate and Apprenticeship programme) in July 2014 and got straight into action, taking part in three months of Accelerated Learning Environment training in Telford. This involved intense training in a range of areas. Of course, there was also fun involved, with Capgemini arranging evening activities, which helped us all to become great friends and colleagues.
After completing the training I moved straight into my business unit where I was welcomed and where I fit well into the team dynamics. At this stage, only those people who were on my training course knew that I was “out”. I knew that, at some point, I would get to know my colleagues better and questions would be asked about my personal life. I don’t know why, but I always felt so on edge when the topic came up, especially as I am such a bubbly, chatty person. However, over time I got to know my new colleagues and felt comfortable around them.
I have come to realise that the main reason for my anxiety, was because I had certain family members who were against my sexuality. With them, I was made to feel as if I was no longer the same person, when in fact nothing had changed: I had merely “come out”. At some stages, I even found myself lying about my partner just to avoid the fear of being treated differently.
In my time at Capgemini I have learnt that this is not the norm. No, I don’t go around telling everyone about my personal status, and, yes, I can still feel uneasy when I meet new people. But I have now met so many lovely people who have never had a problem with who I am. I now know that I need to get over that fear. I am happy in myself and that is the main thing.
I love working at Capgemini: I am learning such a wide range of skills and I have the opportunity to work on amazing projects. Being “out” doesn’t change any part of that!
It is only recently that I have been in contact with OUTFront. I have seen from afar the work that is being done by the organisation, and I am aware of the solidarity between Capgemini and its employees, so I hope to be part of the OUTFront initiative, to get involved with upcoming events and to help raise awareness of the LGBT community within Capgemini.
For more information about OUTfront: LGBT@Capgemini go to https://www.uk.capgemini.com/outfront-our-capgemini-uk-lgbt-employee-network