30 Jan 2015 02:56pm

Deloitte boosts LGBT allies

Big Four firm Deloitte has welcomed the news that 500 of its employees have signed up to its LGBT allies programme

The firm has launched a call to action, encouraging employees to sign up as LGBT allies programme, which was introduced in December 2014.

Sharon Thorne, Deloitte’s managing partner for regional markets, was last year included in the OUTstanding in business top 20 allies list for her work towards LGBT diversity and inclusion.

She said the firm was delighted by the positive response. “We’re thrilled with the uptake of the allies programme so far,” she said. “We’ve deliberately kept the process to register and participate very simple.

“We don’t want to apply a prescriptive formula; we just want our LGBT people to feel support from all colleagues throughout the firm.”

On signing up, employees are offered branded merchandise to visibly demonstrate their support in the office.

“We want to see our employees feeling more comfortable talking about LGBT issues, and create an environment where all our people feel able to be themselves at work,” Thorne explained.

“The allies programme is designed to encourage this conversation, showcase senior role models, and develop a better understanding of diversity and inclusion at the firm.”

Employees can also join GLOBE, the firm’s LGBT network. David Noon, an audit advisory partner at Deloitte, said that joining the network had helped him to talk and discuss issues that some might perceive difficult for a straight, white, male professional to come to grips with.

“A broad understanding of diversity and inclusion is important for business leaders and something they should feel comfortable in openly addressing,” Noon said.

“Changes in attitudes to diversity and inclusion at the firm have been dramatic during my time here, and quite rightly reflect changes we have seen in society over the same period.

“An inclusive workforce, which reflects the communities in which we live, is essential to our success, not least because our clients are becoming more diverse organisations and they expect the same from us.”

Oliver Griffin


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