KPMG is proud to be an ally to all those in the LGBT+ community.
Making KPMG a better place to work and building a culture where we support all our people to balance their career ambitions with their personal lives is a big priority. Although we may not be celebrating Pride in the usual fashion in 2020, KPMG is proud to be a continued ally to all those in the LGBT+ community.
Inclusion and diversity is part of who we are at KPMG. We embrace diversity of background, experience, and perspective – as we recognise the value that diverse thinking brings to our organisation and our reputation in the marketplace. We’re committed to inclusion at every level in our organisation and acknowledge the role of leaders in driving this from the top through their inclusive actions and behaviours.
We want to bring about a positive integration between work and life that not only promotes career achievement but also provides an environment that enables everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, socio-economic background or sexual orientation, to reach their full potential by being valued for being themselves. We strive to be an employer of choice by ensuring that all our people are empowered to make decisions and feel proud and motivated to do their best. Being inclusive enables us to bring together successful teams with the broadest range of skills, experiences and ways of working. Our diverse workforce delivers innovative solutions for our clients, but it is our culture and environment that enables us to harness this most effectively.
As part of our Inclusion & Diversity agenda, we have been focusing on the LGBT+ agenda by supporting events such as Pride Weeks in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway and creating and developing an inclusive work environment for all our staff.
A survey by research firm, Out Now, showed that 78% of Irish LGBT+ people have hidden their sexual orientation or identity at work. The study took place across 15 countries, with Ireland showing one of the highest numbers of employees not feeling comfortable coming out in work. When speaking about their first job, 69% of LGBT+ people in Ireland said they have experienced negative comments about the LGBT+ community and it made them feel uncomfortable being open.
Following the creation of an internal LGBT+ steering committee, we focused on supporting LGBT+ people in our communities and workplace. The focus was to create a visible ally campaign in KPMG; develop a workshop to educate and engage people on the LGBT+ agenda; ensure we are seen as an open and inclusive for all staff; supporting an LGBT+ charity through engaging them with skills-based volunteering; and having visible support and engagement in Pride events throughout Ireland.
Champion and Chair of our LGBT+ committee, KPMG Partner Eamon Dillon, says “We really want KPMG to be a firm where all of our people feel welcome, supported and can be themselves.”
We officially launched our LGBT+ network with Executive Speaker Series for our people celebrating two accomplished people who spoke at the event – Margot Slattery, Country President of Sodexo Ireland and Gavan Hennigan, an extreme endurance athlete.
At the end of the day, it’s about treating all people with dignity and respect in the workplace, says Karina Howley. “I do think that we have made great advances in business. Every kind of organisation now appreciates the benefits of diversity in its broadest sense, whether age, gender, diversity of thought — they know everybody brings something to the table".
To build a diverse and inclusive organisation you need to hold diversity and inclusion lens over all your activities, including your external communications. That means everything from the language and imagery used in your recruitment advertising to the panellists in your seminars, she says. In her experience, no one group wants to be singled out for special treatment: “All people want is to feel they are on a level playing field, that the same things are expected of everyone, and their success will be solely down to their contribution to the team.”
We are proud to be a part of the INVOLVE network, a membership organisation for global businesses. Through a series of programmes, events and consulting, INVOLVE work directly with LGBT+ and ally leaders to promote inclusion, authenticity and drive cultural change, creating an environment where everyone can succeed. KPMG was formally represented at the launch of the network in Ireland - with KPMG's Eamon Dillon sitting on the Irish Steering Committee.
Four of our partners are also taking part in INVOLVE's mentoring programme, where they mentor LGBT+ employees from other companies and four KPMG employees who are being mentored by senior leaders from other organisations. KPMG’s, Gerard Deenihan is taking part in the programme, “I am at the beginning of my mentor programme and so far it’s been a really positive experience. I’m lucky, my mentor is Oliver Wall, Chief of staff in Bank of Ireland and he is 100% engaged and is as invested as I am in my career progression.”
BelongTo is a youth LGBT+ organisation that offers help, advice and support for young LGBT+ people in Ireland also supported by KPMG. Working alongside the team in BelongTo, KPMG employees designed a skill-based volunteering workshop on CV preparation and interview skills to members of their youth programme.
Alex McQueen, of KPMG, says “KPMG’s involvement with Pride and other LGBT+ initiatives shows me and other LGBT+ employees, that KPMG is an inclusive workplace that not only embraces but actively supports diversity across the firm.”
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