500+ Deloitte employees become LGBT Allies
28 January 2015
Deloitte has launched a call to action encouraging its employees to sign up as LGBT allies. The Deloitte Allies Programme, which was introduced in December 2014, has already achieved over 500 registrations and is still growing rapidly.
Its introduction follows the inclusion of Sharon Thorne, Deloitte’s managing partner for regional markets, in the 2014 OUTstanding in Business Top 20 Allies list, in recognition of her significant contribution to LGBT diversity and inclusion.
Sharon Thorne, said: “We’re thrilled with the uptake of the Allies Programme so far. 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.”
Upon signing up as an ally, employees have been offered an item of branded merchandise to visibly demonstrate their support in the office. The firm hopes that the community of allies will continue to grow and become apparent to both colleagues and clients, who expect to see diversity in the teams they work with.
Thorne continued: “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. 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. There are a range of ways that people can demonstrate their involvement as an ally, from using a branded mug, wearing a badge, and putting a sticker on their laptop, to becoming actively involved in GLOBE (Deloitte’s LGBT community) and attending events run by the network.”
On Thursday 29 January, Deloitte will welcome Lord Browne of Madingley to its offices for an evening of discussion about the importance of LGBT inclusion in the workplace. The event will involve remarks from the former BP CEO about being an advocate of openness and authenticity for LGBT employees based on his recently published book, ‘The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good Business’.
Case study – David Noon, partner, Audit Advisory
David Noon became an ally after recognising the common and incorrect assumption that is so often unconsciously made - that everyone is straight. Having made this assumption in a conversation, causing an uncomfortable situation for himself and a colleague, David was keen to find out how he could support GLOBE, Deloitte’s LGBT network. At first this support resulted in David becoming one of the firm’s first allies, something that helped to shape his thinking about diversity and inclusion. David believes he is now better positioned to talk confidently to both his team and his clients about issues that some might assume a straight, white, male professional would be uncomfortable with.
David says: “A broad understanding of diversity and inclusion is important for business leaders and something they should feel comfortable in openly addressing. 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.”
Notes to editors
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.