Why it's important to recognise and celebrate diversity at work

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To celebrate the beginning of pride month, we sat down with two of our amazing Flighties to ask them what pride means to them and why they think it is important for corporations to recognise and celebrate diversity.

Sam – Accounts Payable, Reconciliations

What does pride mean to you?

Pride means being comfortable with who I am and feeling safe enough to share that with the people around me, both in my personal life and at work. Pride is a celebration of who we are, with no apologies, and it acknowledges the difficulties we face as a community. Pride brings to life the wonderful differences between people, and it's such a beautiful thing.

How do you feel supported at work?

I've never felt more comfortable in a workplace than at FCTG. FCTG acknowledges and celebrates the diversity in its community, and it's what makes work here so great. Since starting with FCTG in January, I've not felt even an ounce of judgment from others after having told them parts of me I usually try to hide. Mostly, they're excited to go to MOFOs to meet my partner, Sam, and have a chin wag with her. My team in finance are some of the most wonderful and accepting people, and they give me the support to be who I am.

 

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Sam and her partner Sam who is the head chef at MOFOs, the rooftop restaurant and bar located on the top level of FCTG's Global HQ.

Why do you think it's important for corporations like FCTG to recognise and celebrate diversity?

As a society, it's taken far too long for people to accept differences and diversity. What FCTG has done is completely flip the status quo and encourage us more than ever to stay true to who we are and how we feel. By recognising and celebrating diversity, FCTG creates a safe and welcoming space where people can express themselves. This celebration is important to continue to remove the stigma and "the unknown" from people really just being people. At the end of the day, we're all human, and this recognition brings us closer together not only as a workplace but as a community.

"Pride is a celebration of who we are, with no apologies, and it acknowledges the difficulties we face as a community. Pride brings to life the wonderful differences between people, and it's such a beautiful thing" - Sam.

Steven – Digital Platforms Specialist

What does pride mean to you?

For me, pride is simply being able to be your authentic self in all walks of life. Not having to choose to be identified with rituals like 'coming out' but just getting on with living my life because we are all accepted. I often laugh and like to turn the tables by asking my straight friends how they came out to their families...the look of confusion is priceless.

How do you feel supported at work?

FCTG is a great place to work. Let's face it, the travel industry has a certain flamboyance to it, so I have always felt welcomed and supported from the day I started (over 20 years ago). FCTG provides a space where I can bring my whole self to work, each and every day. No one even bats an eyelid when I wear my rainbow suit to the office (see below).

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Why do you think it's important for corporations like FCTG to recognise and celebrate diversity?

Simply put - attraction and retention. Corporations need to recognise the diverse make up of their working community so that they can put in place strategies to ensure everyone feels supported not just the minorities that already have a platform like Pride. Offering inclusion programs such as our 'Come As You Are' Workplace group highlights to potential employees that they will be valued and hopefully instils a level of confidence in current employees to stick around. It also brings about opportunities to broaden the conversation at all levels of business to ensure the needs of the many are being met. Listen to your people, give them a platform to provide feedback and encourage them to join the conversation as often as they can.

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Flight Centre Travel Group's Diversity and Inclusion Program 'Come As You Are'

Fundamentally, having a Diversity & Inclusion Program (D&I) is about making sure we, as FCTG, can provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all of our people. It allows us to ensure everyone is represented in every facet of our business. The issues tabled and the solutions offered are representative of a broad range of people, ideas, beliefs and needs. 

In first recognising and then celebrating the many different facets of what makes you “you”, we are doing our part to make our work environment better every day. When you show up, we want you to show up as YOU. There is only one best way when it comes to supporting you, and it involves celebrating your whole self.

Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈

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