We are committed to providing an inclusive work environment, where individuals are respected for the skills and talents they contribute and the impact they make. As such, we have initiatives geared toward our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people and their allies.
We support our LGBT people through both policy and practice, by working together to:
- Offer top-tier benefits (such as spousal equivalent domestic partner recognition, gender transition coverage, and tax gross up on domestic partner benefits imputed income in the US)
- Take leadership in the community by supporting top LGBT organizations through sponsorship, volunteering and board involvement
- Provide access to resources and knowledge via a wide array of internal tools
- Raise awareness of inequities that our LGBT professionals face in the workplace and in the community
In addition, Unity, one of our EY Professional Networks, supports and promotes our LGBT-inclusive culture. With more than 1,700 members in more than 90 EY locations, Unity also works with our other Professional Networks to better leverage available resources and reach a larger audience.
In March 2013, Ernst & Young LLP joined an amicus, or "friend of the court," brief setting out for the Supreme Court the costs American employers incur associated with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The firm is proud to be among the more than 270 employers and others that joined in the brief, and the only Big Four professional services organization, to provide information for the Supreme Court’s consideration of United States v. Windsor.
Plus, in September 2012, we became the first in our industry to support the Immigration Equality Action Fund and join the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act to take a stand for LGBT people facing immigration discrimination within their families. This move complements our efforts to join the Human Rights Campaign’s business coalitions in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and tax equity benefits.
An inclusive view
We received the Trevor 2020 Award for increasing the visibility and understanding of LGBT issues in 2011. We also developed an “It Gets Better” video in which some of our Unity members, including EY’s Global Vice Chair — Public Policy Beth Brooke-Marciniak, tell their stories to LGBT teens at risk, illustrating that things will get better. You can view the video at itgetsbetter.org.
EY Unity members from Canada, the US and the UK remain engaged in achieving success at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit. They have cumulatively volunteered more than 2,700 hours of support and been involved in leading 97 workshops.
In addition, attending the summit allows our people to expand their personal knowledge and networking ability, as well as bring back recommendations for their peers to integrate into the day-to-day working environment.
Leading through inclusion
Our “Leading through inclusion” lunch-and-learn program builds widespread awareness about the importance of LGBT inclusion in the workplace.
Additionally, the US firm is a corporate sponsor offering our support and talent to LGBT-focused non-profits, including the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). In 2012, for example, we sponsored the NGLCC gala and conference, with EY’s Global Chairman and CEO Jim Turley speaking about the importance of supporting LGBT-owned businesses as part of our supplier diversity initiative and commitment to entrepreneurs.
Further, one of our Unity members chairs the board of the NGLCC while another Unity member has demonstrated her leadership through the Procurement Council.