Open and proud: Our diverse culture makes us stronger

Celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community is paramount to our pursuit of an open and equal society. And the Roche LGBTQ+ community is an important and lasting legacy of our culture. They make up the vibrant tapestry of diverse voices that allow each of us to thrive at the workplace and pursue a purpose-driven life. Now more than ever, it is critical to listen to stories in order to support inclusion, embrace diversity and become better allies. In honour of Pride Month, employees around the world share their stories and hopes for the future.
When there is less spaces to be yourself

Alex lives in a country where it’s nearly impossible to be out. He is still learning how to live while keeping his secret and he shares how life can be full of loneliness and fear. But with a global community of LGBTQ+ support, it can help him be truly himself, even if only for a small moment.

My own journey to embrace who I truly am

Any journey of understanding one’s identity is  a path filled with obstacles and turning points. For Julie, recognising their non-binary identity was a significant milestone. It's a road they are still walking, a journey of self-love and acceptance. And it's a journey that has led them to a new understanding of the world and their place in it.

Duality in a global workplace

B. is in a unique, but not altogether uncommon position. He is a LGBTQIA+ professional in a global workplace, which means he often must balance how he shares the two versions of himself. “I have truly experienced what it means to ‘be yourself’, without fear. But I also experience what it feels like to hide your true identity away.”

A mother solidifies her allyship

Claire has always had strong views about the freedom to be who you are. She would get upset and angered if others made degrading comments or judged others by how they live their life. But things took a more personal turn when her own daughter opened up to her about her sexuality. Allyship took on a whole new meaning.

Fostering acceptance with LGBTQIA+ networks

Stuart's workplace coming-out journey reminds him of the valuable role leaders play in allowing others to feel comfortable showing their true colours. “In my own early experience, I saw risk in coming out before I knew that the environment was safe. So the process starts with creating an accepting workplace.”

From Syria to Belgium

We still live in a world where acceptance and understanding for the LGBTQIA+ community still varies greatly. Antoun has experienced first-hand the importance of creating safe spaces for individuals to express their true selves. His journey of coming out in Syria and joining Roche in Belgium taught him about the crucial role we all play in fostering safe and inclusive environments.

Two sides of the coin

Living in Cape Town, South Africa, William shares how his country has a splintered attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. He observes the coexistence of progress and openness, while at the same time extreme inequality and bigoted views that dominate cultural attitudes.

Removing preconceived notions

Padraic says we can all be an ally. It starts with removing any preconceived notions we may have and focusing on the individual person in front of us. “We can all be an ally. It starts with removing any preconceived notions we may have and focusing on the individual person in front of us.”

More work to be done

“When I joined Roche about 14 years ago, I felt like a unicorn. Some colleagues even told me that I was ‘the only one’. But I didn’t face any issues being openly out at the workplace. I initiated OPEN over 10 years ago with some colleagues, as I noticed that not everybody had the same environment in the company nor in society.”

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