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Pride Month at Deloitte Bermuda

Celebrating everyone Embracing diversity LGBT+ Inclusion

Some of our people share their personal stories and experiences.

At Deloitte, we want everyone to feel that they can be themselves and thrive at work. For our LGBT+ colleagues it means knowing that they will be seen and heard as their true authentic selves—valued, and appreciated for all that they are and what they contribute to Deloitte’s Purpose to make an impact that matters.

LGBT+ Inclusion at Deloitte

Deloitte’s Shared Values are at the heart of everything we do. Living these values, which include ‘take care of each other’ and ‘foster inclusion’, is essential in enabling everyone at Deloitte to feel they can be themselves at work, without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

We want our LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans and more) professionals to feel confident in being who they are and empowered to thrive within Deloitte and within the societies Deloitte serves.

This is why Deloitte is proud to be a signatory of the UN Standards of Conduct for Business in Tackling Discrimination against LGBTI people (the LGBTI Standards). Many of our actions to further LGBT+ inclusion are aligned with core areas of the UN standards, including respecting human rights, eliminating discrimination and providing support. This includes a focus on allyship, reverse mentoring and helping our people to ‘walk in the shoes’ of members of our LGBT+ community. What’s more, our Global Principles of Business Conduct (Global Code) and relevant policies (including on discrimination and harassment) ensure that our global inclusion and anti-discrimination policies apply to all our people, across all Deloitte firms.

We also believe the power of ‘allyship’ is a critical element of LGBT+ diversity, whereby our people support the rights and wellbeing of their LGBT+ colleagues. Allyship isn’t just passive support, but part of our everyday actions - visibly and vocally supporting LGBT+ people inside and outside of Deloitte.

To coincide with International Day of Transgender Visibility on March 31, 2021, Deloitte shared transgender inclusion guidance globally to enable Deloitte offices to provide their transgender colleagues the workplace support and environment they need.

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Divan Steyn shares his story

"Whilst your sexuality can be a very private and personal matter, having people that accept you for who you are makes the everyday challenges that we all face just a little bit easier."

Living in uncomfortable Skin

I grew up in a small mining town in South Africa, where running around barefoot and riding your bike in the streets was the established business of the day. Ever since I was a small child, I kind of knew I was different. Although my parents made me play rugby, which was expected of young boys, I also sang in the choir, played the piano & violin, and enjoyed art classes. As a small child those things didn’t really bother me. It was only when we moved to the city near Johannesburg that all these things I previously loved, turned out to be things young boys shouldn’t do. I was constantly mocked and bullied for being gay. I stopped playing Rugby as I started high school, not that I liked it in the first place, and adopted the role of the ‘cultural kid’ and did well. I never actually thought that I was gay. Afterall, that was just something people said to hurt me. 

I tried having girlfriends, but my best friend, who was a girl, was always more interesting and fun. As such my attempts at dating failed miserably. As I got older, I found myself being more and more protective of my friends. My close friends were girls, but I never really found myself attracted to them. I started working out and idolizing the guys in the fashion magazines, as the term ‘metro man’ was something that had become popular at the time. At least that was what I was telling myself. 

I put a lot of focus on my studies, and then during the first 3 years of my working career into progressing, learning and getting ahead in life. My parents were very happy. They offered encouraging words like, there will always be time for love later in life, and that a good education is a more important use of my time.   

It was only after passing my CA that I started questioning things on a serious note and started going on secret dates. Although South Africa is quite progressive in terms of gay marriage, it’s kind of something that is not talked about, or at least this was the case in the areas that I grew up and lived. 

Starting a new chapter

In 2013, I began working for Deloitte South Africa in the Johannesburg office, and always planned to join its Just In Time Program (JIT) once I completed my 3-year trainee accountant contract. Living in a country where the scars of apartheid are still fresh, and in my case on top of my newly found anxiety of most definitely being gay, many young, qualified professionals look for opportunities to leave South Africa behind and enter the international market. 

I applied to join the Deloitte Bermuda office as a senior in their insurance practice and decided that this was my opportunity to make a fresh start, come out and be who I truly am, in a place where people don’t know me, where I get to define who I am, and control the narrative. 

Unfortunately, Bermuda was probably one of the worst places to do so, as I was unaware of the political turmoil about to unfold in this small British Overseas Territory, or that people could be so utterly set against gay marriage. I’ll let people research this part of the story on their own. 

Despite the backdrop on which my arrival on the island was set, I met a bunch of wonderful people at Deloitte as part of my intake group who immediately became my friends. Although difficult, at first, I decided I couldn’t wait too long before revealing to these people who I really was. I plucked up the courage one night in what was one of the hardest things I ever had to say out loud to a bunch of people who I really wanted to like me. Turns out there are people out there who don’t care about your sexuality.

I found one other person on the island that week, and we have been happily together for more than 6 years now.

The power of Diversity & Allyship

Deloitte made the transition to being the true me super smooth from day one. Not only did they relocate me halfway around the world, but I also felt accepted from the very beginning and never nervous being my true self in the office. Deloitte leadership embraces diversity in all its forms, shapes, and sizes, and I’m proud to be part of a company that leads the industry in making an impact that matters and embracing diversity. During my time at Deloitte so far, I have gone from being an intern to a senior manager, I’ve also seen the company truly embrace diversity and be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Whilst your sexuality can be a very private and personal matter, having people that accept you for who you are makes the everyday challenges that we all face just a little bit easier. I’m currently only aware of a few LGBTQ+ employees at our Bermuda office besides myself, two of whom are part of the management and leadership structure. This is a step in the right direction, as Deloitte is creating a safe environment where young and questioning members of the LGBTQ+ community can find role models and people to look up to, who are just like them.

Whilst my journey did not start all that great, I am very pleased with where I ended up, and to all the people that are allies to the community, you have no idea how much that truly matters. Thank you!

Yvonne DeCosta shares her perspectives and why she's proud to be an LGBT+ Ally

"Love is Love. I know loving someone with your whole self is an incredible journey everyone should experience."

I grew up in a religious and traditional family, attended a religious school, and I have always considered myself a kind and loving person. As a teenager, I did not consider myself an ally. I did not support the LGBTQ+ community because of my bias. As a young adult, I began to meet people from many different cultural backgrounds with various beliefs. One relationship changed everything for me. I saw the love an LGBTQ+ couple had for one another, and my bias became clear. 

My faith has not changed, but over time my support for the LGBTQ+ community has. I now openly support this community by listening to, learning from, and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. I also support and participate in PRIDE initiatives.

At Deloitte, I lead a sub-committee in Bermuda's local ALL IN committee. The sub-committee focuses on women in leadership, working parents' community support, and the LGBTQ+ community. Through the ALL IN committee, Deloitte and our people commit to giving everyone equal opportunities to grow, develop, and succeed in an environment where we always hold each other accountable.