Blog Post

Celebrating Pride: Inclusion, Support and Advocacy Across FTI Technology

Scott, you’ve been very active as a speaker, sponsor and volunteer for Out for Australia, which provides mentoring and professional support for young LGBTQI+ professionals. Can you share more about the work you’re doing with that organization?

Foster: Yes, FTI Consulting is a major sponsor of Out for Australia. Along with other colleagues in Australia, I serve as a mentor to the organization’s members. We have hosted LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Janine Middleton in support of Wear It Purple Day, which raises awareness and “strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people,” have created videos about WorldPride and our partnership with Out for Australia, marched in parades, decorated our offices with rainbows, hosted a Drag Queen fundraiser and coordinated other office events to celebrate Pride.  

Lydia, you’ve mentioned feeling unstoppable for being a part of change. Can you speak to some of the changes that you think are still needed within the technology industry and broadly?

House: It can be intimidating to be open about identity and gender in the workplace. Some organizations and people continue to struggle with misgendering or implementing the supports people need. This is why it’s so important for people at all levels, especially senior levels, to demonstrate openness and celebrate the benefits of making the workplace an inclusive place for LGBTQIA+ people. Also, open conversations can help people reflect on why certain things make them uncomfortable, which can help with becoming more open to diverse perspectives and experiences.

What has inspired you to be actively involved in the community and connecting that to the workplace?

Spencer: At my previous job I was the only out employee, and it has been a wonderful experience being at FTI, since I now feel like I am a part of a much larger community. I feel a social responsibility to be outspoken about being a lesbian. I think it is important to be visible both for those who are struggling with their journey, and for those that may need more interactions with the LGBTQIA+ community to see that we are all just people.

Foster: I’ve seen a bit in my career and witnessed first-hand how people reacted to homosexuality — from it being perceived as a psychological disorder, through the fear of the AIDs crisis, to legalising gay marriage. The LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way but there is quite a bit more road in this journey. I’m inspired to help empower people to be flexible, be brave, be bold and to get involved and form meaningful and supportive relationships. Anyone can motivate change and have some fun along the way.

Do you have any comments about your experience with inclusion at FTI Technology?

House: I was very prepared to have an uphill battle when I started here, especially as I’ve had negative experiences at work in the past. But everyone was so welcoming and cool. Consultants work so hard in our field and in our practice, so it’s quite a relieve to not be carrying around that worry. What’s different about FTI is that we value experience and expertise so much, and as an extension of that, we have really interesting people here who are openminded and welcoming of individuality.

Spencer: I have been pleasantly surprised how easy it has been to be openly lesbian at FTI. I have not felt any pressure to be more or less outspoken, and that is a wonderful feeling, knowing that I can exist as myself. I am appreciative of the Pride Network at FTI and the events we have access to. It’s encouraging to see so many of my co-workers enjoying these experiences together.

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.