As we mark Pride 2023, we’re reminded that — amongst the challenges we continue to face as a community — there are many things to celebrate.
So this year, we’ve connected with our network of partners and friends to highlight diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives making a difference, and reflect on how to build workplace policies that have a lasting impact.
When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, we have a long way to go towards workplace equality. To date, there are no openly LGBTQ+ CEOs in the FTSE 100 and just four within the Fortune 500. But it’s not just about more representation at the helm of big companies, it’s about inspiring our communities to reach for the stars and break down career barriers.
Career Accelerator bridges the gap between aspiration and reality by mentoring young adults across diverse backgrounds. In this interview, Founder and CEO Mayur Gupta shares how his initiative helps LGBTQ+ youths achieve their career goals, and the ways businesses can measure the impact of DE&I programmes.
Career Accelerator helps young people from diverse backgrounds fulfil their career ambitions. How do your programmes support the LGBTQ+ community?
Our LGBTQ+ business mentoring programmes and events champion inclusive jobs, and help mentees develop ambitious career goals. We also support them in building their confidence and professional networks.
Over the past 3 years, we’ve held quarterly LGBTQ+ ‘Mentor Stories’ — an event that puts inspiring mentors and allies in the spotlight. We’ve also held in-person LGBTQ+ mentee graduation events at firms like Snapchat and Vodafone.
And as part of our programmes, we host regular roundtables to help DE&I leads at our partner companies explore and collaborate on ways to make LGBTQ+ mentees feel more welcome and safe.
We believe that every organisation should strive to create an inclusive environment. How has your team approached this?
We encourage our team to lead on different diversity and inclusion roundtables depending on where their individual interests and passions lie.
Alongside a personal development budget, we also recommend great diversity and inclusion events for employees to attend.
When it comes to the impact of inclusive policies and initiatives, how do you think businesses can best measure this?
First and foremost by collecting feedback from everyone involved in the initiative including speakers, audience members and mentees.
Secondly, it’s important to be patient and invest in programmes for the long run. It can take months and even years to see the full impact.
Finally, try to link every initiative's goal to your wider business goals and priorities. This helps to ensure the success of the initiative contributes to the success of the wider business.
What’s next for Career Accelerator?
Our mission is to scale our existing business partnerships — working with even bigger brands and focussing on more long-term growth, which is exciting.
We’re also planning new career workshops, events and roundtables to provide more holistic services for both young people and businesses.
Which LGBTQ+ events do you recommend checking out?
There are quite a few, but some of my favourites include:
EUROUT - Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ business conference
Intertech - a non-profit organisation for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies around the world
Out in Tech - the world’s largest non-profit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders.
Career Accelerator works with the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ career conferences. We’re proud to work with them, supporting students interested in a career in tech, and show that no matter what your background or how you identify, you should always feel able to be your true self at work. Learn more about their programmes.