On March 4th Cpl BeProud hosted an event to mark Zero Discrimination Day 2021 and to create awareness around the challenges people can face in their personal and professional lives.
Led by Sharon Vize, Group HR Director, and moderated by Stephen Molloy from BeProud - Cpl’s LGBT + Ally Network, we were introduced to a short video showing the differences followed by a short poll to give everyone a little perspective as to how privileged they were or were not.
Stephen then shared the results and a quote from by Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or her background, or their religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally than its opposite.”
Sharing experiences of discrimination and hope
We were joined by three guests, each sharing their own stories and experiences of discrimination. Sandrine Nzenza, a Belgian recruitment professional with Congolese roots who has lived in Ireland for the past 10 years.
Sandrine shared her experience of dealing with microaggression, a lack of education for youth and her personal experience of being refused her driver’s licence due to the colour of her skin. Sharing her experience, she provided some helpful tips as to how we can make a difference by being more of an ally, speaking up and standing against discrimination.
Kuba Jugo a marketing executive and member of the LGBT community. Kuba shared his experience of homophobia in the workplace and what it is to be overly accepting without any foundation, showing how offence this can be with comments like “I always wanted a gay friend” or “this makes us more western and diverse” being some of the few he was subjected to.
Kuba also highlighted the difference in acceptance between countries, Poland having gay-free zones and the need to raise awareness against such bigotry.
Our third speaker was Phil Kane. Phil grew up working hard on her father’s farm and shared her experience of growing within her career, challenging gender stereotypes and leading by example. A champion of diversity, Phil is the proud mother of three sets of twins, all girls and hopes for a better future for them and for all.