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AbbVie’s Mardi Gras celebration drives education and inclusion

Our Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EED&I) Committee is dedicated to creating an environment where all employees can bring their whole, authentic selves to work. Ahead of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, our EED&I Committee held a “Mardi Gras Extravaganza” event to celebrate pride and educate employees on the LGBTQIA+ community.

This in-person event took place in Sydney and was live-streamed to employees across the country. The evening was full of incredible musical and drag performances as well as an educational panel discussing Australian LGBTQIA+ history and issues faced by the community today.

“Our Mardi Gras event was created in a way that was a celebration of our community but was also educational. It allowed the audience to uncover deeper issues pertaining to LGBTQIA+ people to give our employees pragmatic ways to support and promote positive change” says Dan Iachini, AbbVie Rheumatology Brand Manager, EED&I Committee member and co-champion of the LGBTQIA+ diversity stream.

The Mardi Gras Extravaganza was one of the first opportunities to bring together AbbVie and Allergan Aesthetics employees since integrating last year. One of the key goals of the event was to provide opportunities for employees to learn, contribute and ask questions.

“It is important for communities to have strong allies. Everyone within the business has a role to play in supporting inclusion” says Ella Boonzaier, AbbVie Business Unit Manager and LGBTQIA+ ally.

 “Creating a culture where one can bring their whole authentic self to work isn’t just a feel-good venture – it makes business sense. This promotes diversity of thought and inclusion which creates a safe and trusting environment, and in turn, it allows employees to contribute more broadly and feel comfortable to constructively challenge the status quo,” said AbbVie ANZ General Manager Chris Stemple.