LGBT+ History Month is an annual month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history every February. In the UK, the month coincides with the anniversary of the 2003 abolition of Section 28, a law passed in 1988 that stopped councils and schools “promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. Since 2005, LGBT+ History Month has worked to combat prejudice and raise awareness of LGBT+ history. Telling the stories of figures such as Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Maureen Colquhoun, Gareth Thomas, Chris Smith and Ruth Davidson, helps build visibility and pave the way for a brighter future.
At NTT DATA and our sister companies, we place great importance on the value of diversity. We find that many benefits are generated for our clients, our people and our business when we have an inclusive workforce. We believe that all our employees should have the opportunity to thrive at work regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, religion or sexual orientation, or disability. Diversity & Inclusion at NTT DATA is not a one-off initiative, but underpins our values and behaviours that help drive our business.
In honour of LGBT+ History Month, we felt it was important to recognise our LGBT+ community and our allies, celebrating all that they do for our organisation, our clients and the society in which we live. Of course, inclusion of all forms should be front and centre all year round, as organisations strive for continuous improvement, understanding that there is always work to be done.
“Having grown up in a family and at a time where being myself wasn’t an option, working at NTT DATA has helped me on my journey of self-acceptance. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to fully accept who I am, whilst knowing that at NTT DATA there is no negativity, and no judgement – just support.”
“The LGBT+ and Allies Network at NTT DATA enables me to help others who are struggling to be who they are. Whilst it’s important to note that there is still prejudice out there, something that both myself and my wife have experienced recently, this only heightens the importance of the acceptance and support that exists at NTT DATA. We need to work together to challenge prejudices and champion acceptance.”
- Sue, NTT DATA Employee
Putting D&I into practice
We work hard to attract, retain and develop our employees through a diverse and inclusive workplace with no limitations to geography, gender or generation.
Our LGBT+ and Allies Network supports our community to thrive in the workplace and feel fully supported. For three years in a row, NTT DATA has been a proud sponsor of Pride in the City – a fantastic opportunity for us to talk about multiple aspects of diversity and provide a platform for us to share and spark meaningful discussions with our clients and partners.
Championing diversity has a palpable and important impact on business outcomes. An inclusive team encourages creativity, inspired by differing perspectives, ideas and experiences. NTT DATA is built on a culture of innovation, and different perspectives and life experiences are central to this. That’s how we continue to push boundaries and explore possibilities for new businesses and technologies.
“The best thing about working in the NTT DATA family of companies is trust. The inclusive culture and the strong voice of the LGBTQ+ community fosters better inclusion, allowing people to be themselves. Our LGBTQ+ community takes a unique and positive approach, encouraging people to rethink their preconceptions.”
“Every day, I feel the impact of our community. As a consultant, I am exposed to a wide range of people with different backgrounds to my own, and knowing that the NTT DATA family of companies has a strong foundation in supporting the LGBTQ+ community gives me the confidence and reassurance to be my most authentic self.”
- Sam, iTelligence Employee
We have come a long way but there is still more to be done
Whilst LGBT+ History Month is an important celebration; it is crucial to remember that there is still work to be done. Championing LGBT+ lives and experiences must be a priority throughout the year. People at all levels, whether leaders or individual team members have a responsibility to ensure inclusivity is at the heart of all they do.
There is no denying that there have been many important turning points for LGBT+ rights. In the UK, same sex relationships are legally permitted, LGBT+ people have the same rights to marriage and adoption as their heterosexual counterparts, and health organisation no longer stigmatise sexuality or transgender issues with dated definitions.
At NTT DATA and our sister companies, we want to continue encouraging all our people to continue acting as champions, striving to influence the dialogue internally and with our clients, partners and wider society.
“I am extremely proud to work for a company like NTT DATA – it is unlike any other organisation I have ever worked for before. I believe that NTT DATA are leading the way when it comes to LGBT+ rights, and it’s wonderful to be part of a company that is so open and supportive. The LGBT+ community at NTT DATA supports not only those struggling with their identity at work, but also enables our employees to support their own friends and family.”
“We run regular events for employees and members of the community, something which has continued throughout lockdown. From social events to educational sessions, these meetings are designed to show that anyone and everyone is welcome and to encourage them to be who they are.”