Back in 2014 we launched Allies@AXA_Pride, our first global Employee Resource Group (ERG) on LGBT. Since then we’ve grown our community, holding regular global calls and local activities, sponsoring two global studies around LGBT workplace topics and sponsoring The Economist’s 24-hour global event, Pride & Prejudice.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without the support of employees and allies across the globe. So what does it really mean to be an ally at AXA?
At its heart, it is believing that everyone should experience full equality in the workplace and being willing to support that. In the context of Pride, allies are individuals who don’t necessarily identify as LGBT but who strongly support LGBT employees and contribute to creating an inclusive environment.
As a leader in AXA, to be an ally for inclusion means to create an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work and not feel uncomfortable or any sort of prejudice
We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is absolutely crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation. People perform better when they can be themselves and they feel valued. Allies create an inclusive environment to help facilitate this. They play a vital role in helping to support diversity and inclusion.
Inclusivity is contagious, which means that whenever we progress towards equal opportunities or the inclusion of different groups, this is to the benefit of everyone.
You don’t need to be part of a group or network to help support diversity and inclusion. Even simple steps can help others around you to feel included, as Gaelle Olivier, CEO of AXA Global P&C suggests:
When I think about something that each of us could do, I think: ‘Over the past months, have I met someone that I didn’t know? Have I done something differently? Have I challenged my own thinking?’ And asking yourself these questions regularly can help us to be a much more inclusive place to work. Be confident about yourself, be confident that you can learn from others and welcome the difference.