Accenture has been devoted to inclusion and diversity in its workplace for a long time and we have achieved significant results over the past decade. It took lots of action and serious commitment to be recognized as a leader of the corporate diversity and inclusion. For two consecutive years, Accenture was ranked the number 1 company on Refinitiv’s Diversity & Inclusion Index, which identifies the 100 publicly traded companies with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces.
We have committed to create a diverse board of directors in terms of geographic and gender representation, set a public goal of achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and invested in continuous learning and professional development of our employees.
Over the past three years, we have been intensively working on the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ employees, employees on the autism spectrum, on upskilling our future colleagues without technological background and we also helped our colleagues to return to work after parental leave. Among many other perks, Accenture in Slovakia has been offering the opportunity to use psychological consultation services provided by an external psychologist to all of its employees for more than ten years. This unique benefit was welcomed with enthusiasm that led us to focus more deeply on the issue of mental health at work.
Three years of experience with mental health agenda
Removing the stigma of addressing our mental health issues and cooperating with professionals is crucial to better understand how we can improve mental well-being in the workplace. Almost three years ago, Accenture Slovakia partnered with experts to identify the mental health topics our employees struggle with.
To support this agenda, we have launched a communication campaign to raise awareness and to help inform employees about the most common symptoms of mental illness. On top of that, employees and their families had an opportunity to benefit from a free 24/7 psychological help. As part of the so-called Mental Health Week, employees could have chosen to attend a series of workshops and lectures led by experts on anxiety, burnout prevention and treatment, addiction, mental health problems or psychological issues in teams. The project demonstrated our willingness to destigmatize taboo topics in the corporate environment.
Our effort was suddenly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that showed there was an even greater need for comprehensive communication activities regarding mental health. We are now willing to respond to urgent questions raised by the pandemic. Through webinars and online consultations, we continue to provide our employees with the opportunity to professionally discuss topics related to mental well-being during the pandemic such as how to talk about coronavirus with children, couples therapy and how to cope with intensifying workload at home.
From the managerial perspective our mental health initiative brings benefits towards our long term goal - to build an inclusive working environment. Developing our sense of compassion and raising our collective EQ, makes our people better leaders and better equipped for the remote way of working, which we now all face.
The pandemic is challenging many companies now, forcing them to rethink their business strategies, positioning and innovation process. Besides digital transformation, the driving force behind every successful company are the employees. Now, more than ever before, we need to show them we are prepared to assist them.
Lucia Skraková, Inclusion & Diversity Lead Slovakia, Accenture