We have a deep and longstanding commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in business, in society, and within our firm.
Delivering Through Diversity
Is your company a welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+1 ) employees? If you are like many other leaders, you might think that it is: your diversity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives are in place, some employees are out as LGBTQ+, and people seem to respect one another’s differences.
But while diversity and inclusion have climbed corporate agendas over the past decade, many LGBTQ+ employees continue to face discrimination, discomfort, and even danger in the workplace. When it comes to true inclusion, everyday interactions with peers and leaders matter as much as organizational policies or formal processes. In short, your company may not be as inclusive as you think it is. To learn how LGBTQ+ employees are faring in today’s workplaces, we compiled a broad set of data, both quantitative and qualitative.
Our research illuminates the everyday experiences of LGBTQ+ employees, many of whom remain in the closet. In this article, we share what we’ve learned about the challenges these employees face, including firsthand accounts and reflections from LGBTQ+ people about their work lives and environments. Such voices are essential to any conversation on inclusion, whether the focus is on ending gender discrimination, racial discrimination, or any other kind of discrimination. Listening and learning about employees’ lived experiences is the first step business leaders must take if they want to create fairer workplaces.
The voices you will hear in this article and the research we have conducted have led us to recommend six key changes to help improve workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees and for employees who have LGBTQ+ family members. Supporting a diverse workforce is easier said than done, we recognize. Our intent is to inspire integrated action that meets the needs of allemployees. Executives who embrace this opportunity can become more effective leaders and boost the empathy, effectiveness, and productivity of their organizations.
We implemented initiatives globally to advance our Firm’s tenured Black colleagues. These efforts have increased our leadership pipeline and performance outcomes. We also expanded our student internship programs. We created a Global Senior Hiring and Retention Hub for Black talent, the first of its kind. As a result, we have hired several senior-level leaders and have an active pipeline of additional senior-level prospects.
We reinforced this understanding by including equity and inclusion as important aspects of our professional responsibilities in firmwide required learning. Our next step will be to integrate equity and inclusion topics into our internal leadership development programs and create a version of our content that we can share with interested clients.
We launched anti-bias trainings for all colleagues involved in evaluations, trained bias observers embedded in rating and calibration discussions, and sent a short video and guide with tactical tips for mitigating bias in interviews to assessors across many parts of the world.
To strengthen our existing supplier diversity program, we are: Developing category-specific strategies to increase reach and strengthen collaboration with diverse suppliers. We are revamping internal procurement processes around the identification of new suppliers, training, and the proposal (RFP) process. We are also communicating to our largest suppliers – including non-diverse suppliers – the value we place on diversity, encouraging a ripple effect throughout our supply chain.