Sources available to discuss best practices
TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - Despite the recession, Canadian employers cannot
afford to rest on their laurels when LGBTA workplace issues are concerned,
Ernst & Young says.
"Businesses have built solid awareness around the challenges lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people - and their allies (LGBTA) - face at
work," says Bruce Goudy, Ernst & Young partner and Canadian leader of the
firm's Beyond network. "While we can take pride in our achievements, there's
still work to do to create more inclusive workplaces for everyone."
Goudy says these efforts don't need to stop when times get tough.
"Challenging economic times actually create opportunities for organizations to
be creative in their approaches. Strong internal communications, resource
groups and mentoring are all cost-effective ways to make a difference."
The first step is making inclusiveness a business imperative, and not
just a nice-to-have.
"To exceed client expectations, companies must draw on the talents of all
people, and fight off groupthink," Goudy says. "That begins by fostering a
work environment where people are comfortable enough to contribute. Once that
foundation exists, it's time to ask tough questions."
Ernst & Young suggests looking at a broad range of areas, for instance:
- The power of 10. It may not seem like a big number, but at Ernst &
Young 10 is huge. We now have 10 women who self-identify as LGBT in
our offices nationwide. We're proud to have a workplace where people
can be comfortable being themselves at work - but why do so few women
self-identify, and how can we continue to empower them?
- Talking 'bout my generation. The influx of Generation Y employees has
changed work culture nationwide. Policies and programs to support
LGBTA people should reach across generations and address everyone's
needs. That means asking whether your Generation Y employees relate
well to more senior role models. How you can help them connect
- After the parade. When the Pride Parade wraps up, some companies are
tempted to forget about LGBTA issues until next year's event.
Businesses should be asking: Are these efforts around LGBTA
inclusiveness too focused on Pride Week alone, and detached from the
day-to-day realities our people face?
As media gear up to cover Pride events nationwide this summer, Ernst &
Young spokespeople can provide insight and ideas for building a more
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