Ernst & Young: LGBT-inclusive work culture must include Generation Y

by Editor 6/26/2008 3:48:00 PM
As Generation Y makes its debut on the corporate stage, Canadian companies need to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-inclusive efforts evolve with changing workforce demographics to include all groups, Ernst & Young says.

"LGBT people can face real challenges that leave them feeling isolated or disconnected in the workplace," explains Bruce Goudy, Ernst & Young partner and Canadian leader of the firm's Beyond network. "We must constantly evaluate our programs to ensure they continue to meet the needs of our employees-including the newest and youngest members of the workforce, many of whom have had a more accepting campus experience than prior generations and are looking for the same from a prospective employer. A baby boomer may have very different needs compared to someone from Generation X or Generation Y. Our initiatives are intended to address those generational differences."


With that in mind, Ernst & Young is talking to Generation Y employees in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. We're using one-to-one discussion and feedback to learn more about the specific LGBT-related hurdles Generation Y faces in the workplace, and how programs can be aligned with their priorities and needs. Open and honest discussion is the first important step.

"We've worked hard to make Ernst & Young a place where everyone can feel comfortable, be themselves and achieve their goals. But the challenges this generation faces might be different from what their parents and grandparents encountered - and we want to tailor our efforts to help navigate those issues," Goudy says.

Ernst & Young is recognized as a global leader for its pioneering efforts to create inclusive workplaces. The Beyond network is one example. Beyond is a network for LGBT people, and their allies.


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