Capgemini D&I lead Steph Sands receives global LGBTQ+ award

27 November 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Leading international LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall has named Australian Capgemini D&I leader Steph Sands as its global change maker of the year, with the consultancy also receiving top honours.

Capgemini’s A/NZ head of CSR and diversity & inclusion Steph Sands has been named ‘Global Change Maker of the Year’ as part of LGBTQ+ advocacy and rights organisation Stonewall’s latest international Workplace Equality Index.

The consulting firm was also the only technology-focused company to be recognised as a gold top global employer on this year’s list, backing up a swag of recent diversity awards received in Australia.

Capgemini D&I lead Steph Sands receives global LGBTQ+ award

“I’m very honored to be announced a global change maker of the year,” Sands stated. “These types of awards are great recognition for all the work we all do in making change in our workplaces and societies. It’s the sum of all of us not just me and I have to acknowledge the support and sponsorship I continually receive to do this work, from everyone in our community and also the leadership and all my colleagues at Capgemini.”

Based out of Sydney, Sands has been with Capgemini for over a decade across two stints, as a senior director and head of CSR since 2019 responsible for defining and implementing the firm’s diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy for Australia and New Zealand. Previously, she was a director of customer experience technology and digital strategy & transformation with work leading program delivery across the Asia Pacific.

In addition to her professional career, Sands has also been a longstanding LGBTQ+ advocate and leader within the community. She has a more than two-decade association with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’s organisation, including having served as co-chair of the board, and was the founder of Women Say Something. Among many other accolades, Sands was also a recent finalist in the Recalibrate Gender Equity Awards.

While that award was claimed by Cisco’s D&I program manager Kim Gascoigne, Capgemini took home the top honour in the enterprise category – continuing a streak of recognition for the firm’s local human resources team dating back for more than half a decade. Notably, Capgemini was last year named Australia’s top employer for LGBTQ inclusion, while CEO Kaylene O’Brien is HR Australia’s current champion of the year.

Now, the consultancy has followed that up at the global level as a Stonewall gold employer. Established in the UK in 1989, with actor Ian McKellen among its notable founding members, the organisation’s long-running workplace equality index considers factors such as employment policy and practice, leadership impact, and support of LGBT employee network groups. Just eight other companies received gold certification for 2023.

The firm said of the achievement: “Our PrideInProgress journey continues with this recognition from Stonewall, a benchmarking tool for global LGBT+ workplace equality, demonstrating our strong commitment to the UN Standards of Conduct for Business that tackle LGBT+ discrimination within the workplace. Join us as we celebrate this significant milestone and commit to continue shaping positive futures for our people, planet, and society.”