June 20, 2023 • 4 min read

Pride 2023

In this article

Looking at the achievements of our Pride@Worley people network

Why do we need to acknowledge Pride in the workplace?

That’s a question we asked Marco de Vries, Director of Talent Management and Development, from our office in the Hague in the Netherlands.

“Today, we need Pride more than ever in the workplace,” says de Vries. “Coming out is not something you do only once, but throughout your whole life. Every group you step into, every meeting, every new person you meet, is when you show yourself. This is true for everyone, but when you’re part of the LGBTIQ+ community and work in a global industry, there are so many touchpoints, it’s coming out over and over again. Pride helps us to be our full selves and being able to take that into your workplace is invaluable.”

Aside from his day job, de Vries is also Chair of our Pride@Worley people network, which was formed in 2020 to promote connection across the community and make sure our LGBTIQ+ colleagues feel supported and safe. It addresses issues regarding access to work and opportunities in the workplace, and promotes acceptance and respect towards the LGBTIQ+ community. We formed a steering committee, and our executive sponsors signed a charter to hold to account the objectives set by the network.

“The mission of the Pride@Worley people network aims to create a safe, inclusive and supportive work environment in which our LGBTIQ+ community feel connected, engaged and respected,” explains Tom Foster, President, US Operations and Advisian Americas, and executive sponsor of the network. “All our people from the LGBTIQ+ community and allies are welcome.”

So what does the network do?

Measures our progress as an inclusive workplace

In 2021 we signed Workplace Pride’s Declaration of Amsterdam, a human rights statement that outlines that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. These values transfer to an LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace too.

We’re taking steps to make Worley a more inclusive place to work for our LGBTIQ+ community. But we can always strive to do more, to be better, to listen and continue to learn how to improve.
Tom Foster of Worley.

Tom Foster

President, US Operations and Worley Consulting Americas

“One of the things that helps us with this is Workplace Pride’s annual global benchmarking audit. It’s a valued and recognized tool of LGBTIQ+ policies and practices measurement for employers. And as a member, it highlights how we score among our peers and suggests improvements we can make year on year.”

Reverse mentoring

In 2022, we launched our Reverse Mentoring program, which is designed to enhance awareness and insights of the community, learn how to show diversity and inclusion leadership and be an ally.

“Anyone can sign up to chat with a member of the Worley LGBTIQ+ community,” says Foster. “Mentoring builds relationships that don’t take age, ethnicity, or gender into consideration. But most importantly, it creates a culture that allows all our people to bring their whole selves to work, every day.

“I would like to see our industry doing more mentoring – it can be a critical element in promoting an inclusive workplace by bridging the gap between diverse populations, such as the LGBTIQ+ community.

“There have been nearly 100 mentoring sessions because of this scheme. And we’ve turned the traditional way of mentoring on its head. Instead of learning from experienced professionals in a field, it’s listening, understanding, being open new perspectives, and sharing honestly about how we can all learn to be more inclusive.”

Training our people

Each year we run a global inclusion survey where our people tell us how we’re doing, and how we can make Worley a more inclusive place to work.

“In 2021, they told us we needed to invest in building the capability and vision of our leaders and our people regarding inclusion,” says Foster.

“We expect our people to be curious, stand for inclusion and be able to coach people to unlock diverse potential. So we’ve given them access to thoughtful discussions and tools including webinars with external speakers, safety and learning moments, TED talks, and training courses.

“We are also working with our people to raise awareness about the use inclusive, non-discriminatory language through all forms of communication,” explains Foster. “From job adverts and social posts to emails and presentations, we don’t assign gender when it’s not relevant and we don’t perpetuate gender stereotypes. We respect gender identity by asking and correctly using pronouns and we don’t assume the marital status of a person.”

Holds us accountable

Workplace Pride logo.

“We were the first engineering company to join Workplace Pride and it’s great to see us there alongside some of the biggest names in our industry and global brands. But the best part about being a member is it holds us accountable,” says Foster.

“Currently we’re scoring average and on par with other organizations also benchmarked. Since signing up, we’ve increased our score by 26.59 percent. We’re currently sitting at 50.86 percent on the benchmark and over the coming years, we aim to make good progress and continuously raise that number,” says Foster.

“We’re achieving well when it comes to policy and communication and employee networks. But last year we noticed we really could improve in support and benefits. As a result, we created a Global Transitioning Policy for our Trans community. And we’re in the process of revisiting our company benefits packages and looking at how these could be more inclusive for our LGBTIQ+ community.

"Another area we’re actively looking to do more in is business and supplier engagement. This year, we’re inviting customers and industry peers to a series of webinars to create more engagement within the industry,” says Foster.

Planning for the future

We asked Tom what he hopes the future of the Pride@Worley people network has in store… 

“Our organization is built on the capacity and energy of our people, and we want them to feel engaged, happy, and supported.

“The Pride@Worley people network will continue to explore tangible actions that build connections and understanding across the business. This applies to both our existing people and potential new hires. And so one of our next areas of focus will be talent acquisition. We want to explore ways to improve our talent acquisition and onboarding processes so they’re safe, inclusive and supportive for our LGBTIQ+ people to help everyone reach their full potential and contribute to the success of the future at Worley.”

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