Damian de Conno
Global Business Analyst
I joined BAT over 5 years ago as a professional mid-career recruit. At that time I had been out for almost 20 years and I had no intention of going ‘back into the closet’.
Think about what makes a great environment to work in. A place where you can achieve your potential. There are countless guides to career success but for me, on the most basic of levels, it’s simple. It is the ability to be yourself. To respect others for their talents and to be respected for yours.
Imagine being in a workplace where you didn’t feel comfortable simply to be yourself, 8-10 hours every working day, always on your guard.
You don’t have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning your sexuality to think of a time in your life when you felt out of place. The experience is not positive and hardly one to encourage success.
Before I joined BAT I found it had Lucky Tribe, a global network of LGBT employees which provided an important reason I needed to feel comfortable to join.
Today I chair that same group that gave me the confidence that I could be myself at BAT.
Some people may choose not to come out at work and that’s fine; Lucky Tribe provides a safe space to connect with other members of the community without compromising your privacy.
I personally had no intention of going ‘back into the closet’ – lucky I never had to.
Damian de Conno is Chair of BAT’s global LGBT employee network, Lucky Tribe. The community provides advice, support and a safe space for members who today span across 21 countries and 4 regions. Lucky Tribe also works to ensure BAT’s global diversity and inclusion policies are LGBT inclusive so that BAT embraces strength from all diversity.