Opening doors: a conversation with Giacomo Cantu
During Pride Month, we sat down with PrideMatters employee resource group (ERG) member and managing director, Giacomo Cantu, to learn about how he got involved in the firm's Diversity & Inclusion program and the impact PrideMatters has on creating a supportive employee culture within the firm.
Why does diversity and inclusion matter at AlixPartners?
First, it’s an imperative goal to attract the best talent out there and continue to thrive.
Secondly, it’s key to continue to nurture our unique culture and, at the same time, the best way to evolve as a firm and retain our core values and beliefs. It’s a true testament of our core values and of a safe and great place to work. We have all experienced in our career how diversity tremendously improves team dynamics, and many academic studies have shown how good of an investment diversity is under a financial perspective.
What is the role of the PrideMatters ERG within the firm?
I like to look at PrideMatters as the frontman of all ERGs as it epitomizes; our efforts and strong commitment to keep up the conversation, offer a platform to come out or raise workplace issues, and keep everybody accountable to promote, defend and foster diversity in our daily job and with our clients.
PrideMatters ERG members gathered at the Asia/Americas Team Meeting in Chicago.
Why did you decide to become one of the firm’s senior sponsors for PrideMatters?
It really clicked with me few years ago when I became close to one of our clients, a LGBTQ individual that is out and built her career around fighting for diversity and inclusiveness. I realized how little I had done and reflected on many situations where I could have been more sensitive. I picked up the phone, called Chad Schwarz and offered to work together. Since then, it has been a fantastic ride. I learned so much and it has really exploded in our hands. The support we receive is beyond all expectations. I’m so proud of our firm for that.
What other steps is the firm taking to support its LGBTQ employees?
We have changed our policies and carved out a sizeable budget to partner with some of the most prominent LGBTQ institutions. The AlixPartners brand is now connected to the LGBTQ cause and that has opened many more opportunities to push the agenda.
We are developing a maturity model to put things into perspective and be able to have the right priorities.
Giacomo and fellow employees celebrate a Pride Month happy hour.