Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people around the world still face social exclusion and discrimination, just for being themselves.
In a time of uncertainty and potential isolation, this can be amplified.
This year EY continued to champion and support the LGBT+ community around the world and advance LGBT+ inclusion through marking 25 years of Unity, EY’s LGBT+ network.
Founded in 1995, the network was one of the first of its kind in the private sector in the UK and was the first employee-led network at EY. There are now 4,750 members in more than 70 countries and territories around the world.
Through Unity and other global advocacy efforts, the ambition is to serve as an example to EY clients and other organizations who are looking to increase their LGBT+ inclusion efforts and to offer guidance to others.
To support this work, EY has sponsored and co-developed research to show the impact of advancing LGBT+ inclusion, including Opening up the World, Out in the World, Making It Real Globally, and Out Leadership’s Ally Up: Ally is a Verb research, launched in June 2020.
This research and history of convening gives the EY organization a unique opportunity as a founding sponsor in the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE) and original signatory of the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business to elevate visibility of the impact of LGBT+ inclusion.
Focus on allyship
As a part of EY’s LGBT+ inclusion efforts, we also focus on authentic and powerful conversations with allies within and outside of EY.
- In the Global Delivery Service practice in India, a webinar series used storytelling to bring focus on allyship and creating safe spaces for LGBT+ employees. Stories shared ranged from colleagues with gay children to family members who are proud allies as well as workplace allies leading inclusion efforts at clients, and more.
- Patrick Winter, EY Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner, joined Unity leaders for a ‘Breaking the silence’ webcast to share and hear personal stories within EY about how we are speaking out and standing up to discrimination and harassment.
- In the Americas, more than 100 EY professionals have participated in the online Ally2Advocate program, a self-directed interactive tool that allows participants to expand their allyship skills and self-identify as LGBT+ allies. Unity also hosted a global webcast on Bi+ inclusion to raise awareness and build allyship for bisexual communities.
- And across EMEIA, a network of LGBT+ allies has been created to affect the culture change needed to support LGBT+ people in being themselves at work. More than 2,000 allies have registered from across EMEIA, and an allies’ website holds a directory of members and additional materials to help EY people be effective LGBT+ allies.
Supporting LGBT+ professionals and families
In the US, EY’s progressive policies support a more inclusive working world, such as our Pathways to Transition program which offers assistance with gender affirmation medical care, and our Pathways to Parenthood program, which offers support with surrogacy and family leave for all. Watch Joe Matuszewski, an EY US partner, share his family’s story of adoption.