Today we wrap up our summer proPRIDE series. Over the past few months, we have spotlighted various members of Protiviti’s internal proPRIDE employee networking group and their diverse perspectives. Our final spotlight in the series is co-Chair of PROpride UK, Andrew!
- What is your background and path to Protiviti? “I graduated from Bradley University with a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting and started my career as an external auditor at a large accounting firm in St. Louis, Missouri. After a couple of busy seasons, I decided to look at other opportunities through Robert Half and found a perfect fit in Protiviti. I thoroughly enjoyed my first 2 years with the company as part of the St. Louis Internal Audit Financial Advisory team, but once I saw an opportunity to work internationally through Protiviti’s Global Mobility program, I jumped at it. My boyfriend of 5 years, Davey, and I packed our bags and moved to London in May of 2016!”
- Where was your last holiday? “Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre in Italy for an early birthday celebration. Each are incredibly beautiful and I would definitely recommend them for anyone who loves fantastic food, wine, people watching, boating, and hiking!”
- How have you been involved with the LGBTQIA+ community within Protiviti and in your personal life? “When I joined Protiviti, I decided to be my true self and joined our young LGBT network but was not a very active member. Since moving to London I have been more active with proPRIDE and I am currently serving as the co-Chair of proPRIDE UK with founder Belton Flournoy. We have coordinated several events at the Shard, distributed monthly newsletters, represented Protiviti at networking events and speaker series throughout the city, and helped lead the effort to unite our proPRIDE brand (with the help of Philip Maziarz, proPRIDE Executive Champion, Belton Flournoy, and Patrick Luong, proPRIDE co-founder and chairperson). Outside of Protiviti, I joined the most successful gay football team in Stonewall FC. Davey and I have enjoyed attending Pride events around the world, including St. Louis, London, Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv.”
- Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle due to being LGBTQIA+ that has contributed to your success during your career? “Being in the closet when I first began my career was difficult and often distracting for me. I had people within the firm advise me that it would be better if I kept my true self hidden from older, more conservative partners in the office and I agreed that this was the right path forward. This career decision strained my personal relationships with people I loved and even hindered my ability to bring my full talents to my day-to-day work. For example, I wasn’t able to bring my boyfriend to company events, talk about my personal life or share my thoughts in an authentic way, which all had an impact on my personal and professional life. Recognizing that this wasn’t healthy, I made a conscious decision to make a career move to better meet my long-term personal and professional goals. I decided to join Protiviti and be honest about who I was from Day 1. This decision has lifted a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to focus fully on delivering value to the clients that I work with. Being able to fully engage with clients has allowed me to be a better consultant and colleague to the amazing people I get to work with every day.”
- What advice would you give to individuals at Protiviti who may not feel that same confidence in their professional lives? “Being your true self at work is always easier said than done. I was there once and I know how it feels. My experience of being out at Protiviti has been extremely positive but I also know that not everyone has the same circumstances or same support network that I had when coming out. Just know that you are not alone and that Protiviti has an amazing support network in proPRIDE. The Protiviti organisation fully supports you in being yourself in the workplace so don’t be afraid to Face Your Future With Confidence.”