Confidence at Work

Last week our London office hosted their second annual proPRIDE UK event. This year’s event welcomed over 100 clients, colleagues and friends to the Shard to discuss the topic of being confident in being your true self at work.  The aim of the event was to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues amongst London’s LGBT+ business community and straight allies.  As part of the evening we hosted a panel discussion to discuss the results of a brief survey that we conducted, along with personal experiences of our incredibly diverse and senior panel.

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James Holt (Communications Director, Pride in London), Sue Baines (Director Premier Banking Products & Savings, Barclays), Pips Bunce (Head of GM Technology Core Engineering Integration Components, Credit Suisse), Sanisha Wynter (Alumni Relations Officer, Stonewall), Philip Maziarz (Managing Director, Protiviti)

The diversity of the panel was duly noted throughout the whole event and brought a distinct life to the conversation. At one point during the panel, panelist Pips Bunce said “I knew I HAD to be authentic”, a note which seemed to resonate with the entire audience.

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Pictured above are the panelist with Peter Richardson (head of Protiviti UK), Suki Sandhu (CEO of OUTstanding), Andrew Wieser (Manager & Co-chair of proPRIDE UK), Belton Flournoy (Associate Director & Co-chair of proPRIDE UK)

As part of the event this year, Protiviti was the Gold sponsor of Pride in the City, a new mayor backed initiative for Pride in London dedicated to increasing diversity in the workplace.

Protiviti Associate Director and event organizer Belton had this to say, “The type of diversity Protiviti supports is not just about orientation and gender identity.” He continued, “We have a global initiative focused on the growth and the retention of women, a multi-cultural employee networking group and a group for working parents and families, just to name a few. The goal of our recent event at the Shard was to publicly discuss the importance being your true self at work”.

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A couple colleagues networking at the event.

All in all the evening was incredibly successful. A night filled with networking, learning and the opportunity to know those we work along side everyday, just a little bit better.

#proPRIDE Spotlight — Andrew

Today we wrap up our summer proPRIDE series. Over the past few months, we have spotlighted various members of Protiviti’s internal proPRIDE employee networking group and their diverse perspectives. Our final spotlight in the series is co-Chair of PROpride UK, Andrew!

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Andrew is currently an Internal Audit Financial Advisory Manager in our London office

  • What is your background and path to Protiviti? “I graduated from Bradley University with a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting and started my career as an external auditor at a large accounting firm in St. Louis, Missouri. After a couple of busy seasons, I decided to look at other opportunities through Robert Half and found a perfect fit in Protiviti. I thoroughly enjoyed my first 2 years with the company as part of the St. Louis Internal Audit Financial Advisory team, but once I saw an opportunity to work internationally through Protiviti’s Global Mobility program, I jumped at it. My boyfriend of 5 years, Davey, and I packed our bags and moved to London in May of 2016!”
  • Where was your last holiday? “Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre in Italy for an early birthday celebration. Each are incredibly beautiful and I would definitely recommend them for anyone who loves fantastic food, wine, people watching, boating, and hiking!”
  • How have you been involved with the LGBTQIA+ community within Protiviti and in your personal life?  “When I joined Protiviti, I decided to be my true self and joined our young LGBT network but was not a very active member. Since moving to London I have been more active with proPRIDE and I am currently serving as the co-Chair of proPRIDE UK with founder Belton Flournoy. We have coordinated several events at the Shard, distributed monthly newsletters, represented Protiviti at networking events and speaker series throughout the city, and helped lead the effort to unite our proPRIDE brand (with the help of Philip Maziarz, proPRIDE Executive Champion, Belton Flournoy, and Patrick Luong, proPRIDE co-founder and chairperson). Outside of Protiviti, I joined the most successful gay football team in Stonewall FC. Davey and I have enjoyed attending Pride events around the world, including St. Louis, London, Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv.”
  • Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle due to being LGBTQIA+ that has contributed to your success during your career? “Being in the closet when I first began my career was difficult and often distracting for me. I had people within the firm advise me that it would be better if I kept my true self hidden from older, more conservative partners in the office and I agreed that this was the right path forward. This career decision strained my personal relationships with people I loved and even hindered my ability to bring my full talents to my day-to-day work. For example, I wasn’t able to bring my boyfriend to company events, talk about my personal life or share my thoughts in an authentic way, which all had an impact on my personal and professional life. Recognizing that this wasn’t healthy, I made a conscious decision to make a career move to better meet my long-term personal and professional goals. I decided to join Protiviti and be honest about who I was from Day 1. This decision has lifted a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to focus fully on delivering value to the clients that I work with. Being able to fully engage with clients has allowed me to be a better consultant and colleague to the amazing people I get to work with every day.”
  • What advice would you give to individuals at Protiviti who may not feel that same confidence in their professional lives? “Being your true self at work is always easier said than done. I was there once and I know how it feels. My experience of being out at Protiviti has been extremely positive but I also know that not everyone has the same circumstances or same support network that I had when coming out. Just know that you are not alone and that Protiviti has an amazing support network in proPRIDE. The Protiviti organisation fully supports you in being yourself in the workplace so don’t be afraid to Face Your Future With Confidence.”
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Andrew (on the left) is pictured with his boyfriend Davey in Manarola, Italy!  

 

#proPRIDE Spotlight — Anneke Wieling

We continue our summer proPRIDE series in which we are spotlighting various members of Protiviti’s internal proPRIDE employee networking group and their diverse perspectives. Next up in the series is our Country Market Leader for the Netherlands, Anneke Wieling!

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Anneke is a Managing Director in our Amsterdam office.

  • What is your background and path to Protiviti? “I started my career in 1991 as a financial auditor in Arthur Andersen, and after 5 years left to become a controller in a processed cheese factory.  I became plant manager of that factory, worked at Shell, and then started as a business consultant in Business Performance Improvement and Restructuring for KPMG.  We then started Protiviti in the Netherlands, in 2005, with a group of 8 people, and in 2011 I became the Country Market Lead for the Netherlands.”
  • What inspired you to support diversity and LGBTQIA+ initiatives? “Ever since I was a child I supported Amnesty International, and I am a strong believer in equal rights to everyone. Living in and around Amsterdam, you meet all types of people, and they all add to the beauty of life in their own way, and that should be the starting point for everything. As a woman, I know how it feels to be the minority in business, and I believe that we should be a company which stimulates all individuals to be who they want to be, as society should. Lately there have been some incidents in our country which were the result of less tolerance towards gay people, and that made me decide to become a sponsor of the initiative within Protiviti.”
  • What advice would you give to individuals at Protiviti who may not feel that same confidence in their professional lives? “Be open on your doubts, and ask for advice and coaching.  All our managers and directors are willing to help. I think the Protiviti culture is one of support and inclusion, and I really believe in that as a key factor for our success.”
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Anneke diving on a recent  holiday with her family.

Continue following along and join the conversation using the hashtag #proPRIDE. Stay tuned as we continue spotlighting additional #proPRIDE members and some of the dynamic things this group is doing!

ProPRIDE Spotlight: Patrick Luong

Last month our Executive Lead of proPRIDE shared his perspective on Pride Month and the importance of an inclusive workforce. He kicked off our summer proPRIDE series in which we are spotlighting various members of Protiviti’s internal proPRIDE employee group and their unique perspectives. Next up in the series is New York Manager and co-founder of proPRIDE, Patrick!

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Outside of work, Patrick loves to travel! He is pictured above in Bali, Indonesia.

  • What is your background and path to Protiviti? “I was recruited during my penultimate semester at the University of Oklahoma. I majored in Finance and Accounting with a minor in MIS. I started at Protiviti as an Internal Audit Financial Advisory consultant on the technology side. I then went on to spend a year and a half in the same solution but on the Process side. I ultimately switched in to Business Performance Improvement. I love the flexibility this firm has afforded me!”
  • How have you been involved with the LGBTQIA+ community within Protiviti and in your personal life? “As co-founder and Chair of proPRIDE, I have been working with the proPRIDE Board and local chapter co-leads from the beginning. I help plan and implement initiatives such as AIDS Walks and achieving 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Personally, I try to remember the challenges I faced and try my best to pass on the lessons I learned to the LGBTQIA+ individuals I come across when appropriate.”
  • Tell me a story of how you overcame an obstacle due to being LGBTQIA+ and how it has contributed to success in your career? “Being raised with Confucian values, I was taught to seek harmony as much as possible. Although this helped in a lot of areas, it was counterproductive to creating change; because change by definition is disruptive and disharmonious. Seeing that we didn’t have an LGBTQIA+ organization at Protiviti and envisioning how much value and validation that would create for others, I asked the firm for protocols on starting a new employee network group. Working closely with Philip Maziarz, proPRIDE Executive Champion, and David Black, proPRIDE Co-Founder/Vice Chair, we successfully applied for and started proPRIDE in May 2014. I think this experience has greatly shaped and strengthened my professional voice and courage.”
  • What advice would you give to individuals at Protiviti who may not feel that same confidence in their professional lives? “Take your time. We all move at a different pace. There is no right or wrong speed as we all have our different number of internal toll gates to pass through before we are ready to be our full authentic selves.”

Continue following along and join the conversation using the hashtag #proPRIDE. Stay tuned as we continue spotlighting additional #proPRIDE members and some of the dynamic things this group is doing!

ProPRIDE Spotlight: Peter Richardson

Last week our Executive Lead of proPRIDE shared his perspective on Pride Month and the importance of an inclusive workforce. As he mentioned, we will be spotlighting various members of the proPRIDE group throughout the summer and their unique perspectives. Kicking us off is UK Managing Director, Peter Richardson!

  • What is your background and path to Protiviti? I am a Manchester lad from a working class family.  My grandfather was a lathe operator and my dad was a bookkeeper in a small local business.  I studied Modern Languages at University and my first job was in ‘Overseas Marketing’ for a reinsurance company. After 5 years there and at the tender age of 27, I moved into consulting. I ran teams that operated in insurance in the Financial Services sector at PwC, EDS, and Atos.  I came to Protiviti with a small team from Atos because we were all certain that our industry expertise combined with regulatory and risk management capability is essential in Financial Service.  We were all also attracted by Protiviti’s inclusive, collaborative and diverse culture. Being change management professionals, we all understood what important components of the dynamics for a successful team they are.
  • What inspired you to support diversity and LGBTQIA+ initiatives? Common sense!  As the United Kingdom country market leader, I always ask our people to take along a colleague that is different from you to a meeting. What I mean is, bring someone who has a different technical background, another role or level in the company, a different angle on the question or way of engaging; someone who will hear and see things differently and get another perspective on the situation; someone with whom the client may develop a different type of rapport.  That is the power of diversity and we have a huge opportunity to play to those strengths in Protiviti. It just makes sense!  And by the way, from a personal perspective, I feel exactly the same way!  Being a linguist, and traveler, I have always been in touch with multiple cultures, languages and styles and I feel that I have benefited hugely from this.
  • What advice would you give to individuals at Protiviti who may not feel that same confidence in their professional lives? I would say first, our culture at Protiviti is truly inclusive, collaborative and diverse.  “Door Open” means exactly that, so do feel free to walk through and chat.  I would give the same advice that my baby sister gives me whenever I go to her with a problem (which by the way I still do!):  Baby steps! Look around you and see the environment around you, choose the direction you want to go and take the first small step, and eventually the second one will follow.
  • What is your favorite fast food restaurant? The one I frequent most is probably Pure, and when we were in Trafalgar Square, it was Crussh (do they count?) – Common factor connecting the two is proximity to the office!

 

Pictured above is Peter with his first granddaughter, Anna.

 

Celebrating Pride Month

Pride month is more than just a celebration; it is an opportunity to create awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues in our communities and to build allies. At Protiviti we continue to strive to create a diverse and inclusive company culture. We celebrate our differences and aim to depict the full breadth of the human experience, both inside the walls of our offices, with our clients, and in our local communities. For generations, the LGBTQIA+ community have helped to shape and strengthen the diverse fabric of the world. They have waged a courageous fight for dignity and respect and as a result, built a more diverse and tolerant society. I am proud that Protiviti has joined the LGBTQIA+ community in celebrating Pride Month in June and the remarkable progress that has been made in the areas of social justice and equal rights.

Here is a list of events, activities, and changes taking place in the month of June and coming months at Protiviti:

  • We have shared ribbons with all US and global offices that have expressed interest to support LGBTQIA+ community as well as to celebrate Pride Month.
  • We have rebranded from proLGBTA to ProPride to be more inclusive and align with our international LGBTQIA+ initiatives.  The new logo is shown here.
  • We will have six bi-weekly spotlights/blog posts here on this blog that feature our LGBTQIA+ and ally professionals from around the world.
  • We are hosting events for Pride in the City with theme of “Face the Future with Confidence” in London (London LGBTQIA+ and ally networking event created by Protiviti – UK).  The date for this event is September 13th.
  • We are joining Robert Half as a sponsor of the Out & Equal conference and sending a contingency the event in Philadelphia in October.
  • We are partnering with Robert Half to submit our response HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.  Last year Robert Half and Protiviti received a perfect score of 100!

Celebrating one’s identity is a year-long process that goes beyond the Pride Month. Protiviti’s continued support in June and throughout the year reflects the firm’s long-term commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

— Philip Maziarz 
New York Managing Director

 

Celebrating Pride Month

In honor of Pride Month, which is the month of June, Protiviti offices will host events to show our support for the LGBTQ community. Kicking us off, is our Salt Lake City office!

This past Friday, our Salt Lake City office kicked off Pride Month by hosting a Pride Party! The party was very timely as May 31st to June 4th is Utah Pride weekend, which includes a festival and parade in the streets of downtown Salt Lake. The local Protiviti Diversity and Inclusion committee planned this event to recognize the exciting statewide occasion and bring LGBTQ awareness to our office community.

At the Pride Party, a history board was created and displayed to show the office how far the LGBTQ civil rights fight has come and what work is still left to accomplish.

Did you know, each color on the rainbow flag has a specific meaning? Red: life, orange: healing, yellow: sunlight, green: nature, blue: peace/harmony, and purple: spirit.

The Salt Lake Pride Party is the first of many events planned at Protiviti this month and throughout the rest of 2017. Over the course of the next few months, we will be highlighting some of these different events and introducing you to some of our #PROpride teammates. These spotlights align with our strategic cornerstone of having a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Last month, Dallas Senior Consultant Jonathan Tellez had the opportunity to represent Protiviti at the inaugural Corporate Equality Index Awards. This awards ceremony was meant to honor the firms that received a perfect score of 100% on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Efforts put forth by Protiviti in 2016 contributed to our parent company, Robert Half International, receiving a perfect score.

Pictured above Jonathan Tellez, Protiviti Senior Consultant; Ranelle Dunnam, RHI Diversity & Inclusion Senior Manager; and Trey Easter, Protiviti Senior Consultant at the 2017 CEI Awards Ceremony

Jonathan has this to say about the event, “I am honored and humbled to be part of a company that not only strives for equality, but represents part of the companies leading the nationwide movement for LGBTQ equality.” He continued, “Receiving a 100% on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign is evidence of Protiviti and Robert Half leadership’s hard work and dedication to LGBTQ equality”.

The various events planned this year continuously supports our goal of getting another perfect CEI score. We hope you enjoy the updates to follow and learn from our future Pride blogs to come and remember, love has no labels!

— Alex McBride
Campus Recruiting Coordinator