The IRS is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that is free from unlawful discrimination. Employee Organizations (EOs) and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are essential partners to creating that environment. IRS-GLOBE is an EO that was established in 1990, with one chapter in Washington D.C., led by Bill Lipsett, who recently retired.
Richard Rainville stepped forward to lead IRS-GLOBE with a new set of ideas. He has a long-term vision to expand the EO Servicewide, provide guidance and mentoring to LGBTQ+ employees. In addition, he would like to assist in providing awareness for IRS employees to understand that being different is not a negative, but a positive as it provides different views, perspectives and enhanced work outcomes.
Richard is currently the Chief of Physical Security Protection Programs (PSPP) in FMSS Security Policy providing Servicewide leadership and oversight for many of the Physical Security programs. He started his IRS career in 1985 as a GS-2 clerk in Collections at the Andover Service Center. In 1988, Richard joined management and served in various positions and details to expand his job knowledge from Submission Processing to Process Analysis.
In my conversation with Richard, he shared some of his thoughts:
What was one of the best moments or experiences in your career?
“I think one of the best moments in my career was last year, when I volunteered to be the President of IRS-Globe. This gave me the opportunity to represent and assist my fellow LGBTQ+ co-workers. I attended the Commissioner’s meeting with all the EO/ERG National Presidents in September 2019. I shared how IRS-GLOBE can assist in cultivating a well-equipped, diverse, and engaged workforce at the IRS.”
Can you name a barrier or challenge that you have faced during your career?
“The biggest barrier that I have encountered is perception. Society is changing its views of alternate lifestyles, but some political and religious views still are not accepting. Once someone knows that you are LGBTQ+, they tend to look at you differently without getting to know you as a person.”
Please share a little about your personal life and hobbies you enjoy.
“I am relatively quiet when it comes to my personal life. I spend time with my spouse; we really like to travel. We’ve been to Europe a few times - Italy is a favorite. We enjoy good movies and spending time with our families. I also enjoy spending time with my son, who is currently active duty in the U.S. Marine Corp.”
Do you have an inspirational message for IRS employees?
“Something that I learned over the years and was told to me by my father is to listen to everyone you meet. From the top executive to the lowest ranking person in the company. From the person on the street to your community leaders. You will hear, see and learn things that will make you a much better person. From the good and bad of the highest person to the good and bad of the lowest person. Don’t judge them for what you may think or see from the first look, judge them on what is inside. Character is important. I know that I am not perfect, but I will still try to improve every day.”
Richard is well on his way to achieving his long-range goal for IRS-GLOBE; this EO has expanded from one to four chapters in just a few months: Andover; Brookhaven; Ogden; Utah; and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
The organization is in the process of developing a website and creating an election committee to expand the IRS-GLOBE leadership from one to a National Board. Richard partners closely with the LGBTQ program manager from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and looks forward to elevating the EO to ERG status as well. For more information about IRS-GLOBE, read their organization profile (.pdf).