Dell Pride Aspire: Encouraging LGBTQ students to be their ‘Authentic Selves’
Dell Pride Aspire is a free mentorship programme aimed at supporting and encouraging Cork Institute of Technology’s LGBTQ students as they face the potentially difficult migration from college to the workplace. Through a series of workshops, one-to-one mentoring sessions and inspiring speaker sessions, the programme is designed to encourage everyone to be their authentic self in the workplace, and to inspire students to grow in confidence and life experience while they navigate the often-daunting path from education to work life.
Dell Pride Aspire was officially launched on Monday 19th February at Dell EMC in Ovens, Cork, by Bob Savage, Vice-President, EMEA Centres of Excellence, Dell EMC, and will continue over a series of dates throughout February and March 2019.
In announcing the partnership, Mr. Savage said: “At Dell EMC, we work hard as a company to ensure we create a working environment that is inclusive of all our employees and embraces the diversity of cultures, backgrounds and interests that they represent. This is essential for us as a global business so that we create a space where employees can reach their full potential and deliver innovative services and solutions to our customers. This commitment to diversity extends beyond current team members to the next generation of tech leaders who will help to transform our future.”
“That is why we are working closely with CIT on this exciting new initiative assisting students as they move from the education system and into the world of work. We recognise there are a unique set of challenges that members of the LGBTQ community face when making this transition. I look forward to seeing the programme being rolled out over the coming weeks and I’m extremely proud of all our team members from Dell EMC Cork who will help empower others to be themselves.”
Michael Loftus, Head of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, and strong advocate for diversity and inclusion policies at CIT, welcomes this exciting partnership with Dell EMC and applauds the programme for its core values of diversity and inclusion. According to Mr Loftus, “CIT values and promotes diversity and inclusion in all of its activities, and this initiative is fully supported by the Faculty of Engineering & Science.”
Dell Pride Aspire is being coordinated by Damien O’Halloran, Senior Director Customer Support, Dell, and supported by Blaithín Keating, Director Services Operations, Dell EMC. At CIT, the programme is championed by Dr. Donna O’Shea, Lecturer in Computer Science, Mr Konrad Im, Chair of the LGBT* society in CIT, and Jeff Jones, SU Welfare Officer.
Dr. Donna O’Shea, who is driving the Dell Pride Aspire programme on behalf of CIT, believes the programme will be a hugely empowering experience for all the students. “The Dell Pride Aspire programme is very important and timely as it recognises the unique challenges that members of the LGBTQ community face when entering the workplace for the first time. We are delighted to be partnering with our Dell EMC colleagues to support this programme”.
Konrad Im, current chair of the LGBT society at CIT and Mr Gay Ireland 2016, stated that “as a member of the LGBTQ community that volunteers daily with multiple LGBTQ specific organisations catering for people of all ages and backgrounds, I’m delighted to see this inclusive programme from Dell. Migrating from college to the workplace can be very challenging for members of the LGBTQ community as they feel they need to hide their sexualities and gender identities in the workplace leading to higher levels of stress. So, I applaud the work that Dell Pride Aspire is doing to help make the workplace open and inclusive for all.”
There has been great interest in the programme from the CIT LGBTQ community, many of whom are eagerly looking forward to making the most of this wonderful opportunity to enhance their future careers.
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