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EY kicks off its Pride celebrations with a photo exhibition

The company rebranded all its LGBT+ groups under one name – Unity

EY has several events planned for this year’s Pride.

EY has several events planned for this year’s Pride.

 

One of the largest professional services firms in the world, EY employs more than 2,500 people across offices in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Dublin. In the run-up to Pride this year, the company has planned several events.

“Earlier in the year, we invited our people to take part in our annual global photographic competition, Colours of the Rainbow,” says Catherine Vaughan, global compliance leader, risk management.

“The competition has six categories, each corresponding to one of the six colours of the rainbow Pride flag, where we celebrate the incredible photographic and artistic talent of our colleagues.

“Our Pride campaign kicked off with an exhibition of these photos on 17th May, which is IDAHOBIT [International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia]. We wanted to raise awareness of the fact that LGBT+ people still, to this day, face adversity, intolerance and discrimination in many places around the world simply for being themselves.”

The company’s support of LGBT+ people took a significant step when it established a global network in 2015.

“LGBT+ employee groups have existed in various parts of the EY network for many years, in particular in the US, UK and Australia, which all went by different names,” says Vaughan.

“In 2015, recognising our evolution and common goals we came together and re-branded as Unity. Unity is the single name for all LGBT+ employee network groups throughout EY and today we have a presence in a majority of countries where EY has a presence. Most notable recent additions to the network include Japan, Greater China, Singapore and India.”

The impact of this has been significant, says Vaughan. “The number of visible ally partners and directors as LGBT+ allies and champions in particular has increased over the years. As part of our diversiveness and inclusive [D&I] strategy, there has also been a renewed focus on D&I and inclusive leadership training across all parts of the business.

“Personally, I am extremely proud to be associated with an employer who is not afraid to be visible in this space,” says Vaughan.

“Visible role models and access to conversations with ‘people who just get you’ is hugely important. The strength and visibility of our network, together with leadership support of it, has been very significant, it has given me confidence to be myself at work.

“Being inclusive has helped EY attract and retain some of the best talent in Ireland, and has helped us drive forward on our D&I commitments, including mental health, gender and ability.”

Training and awareness

EY continues support for LGBT+ people throughout the year, including a D&I summit in April, as well as offering LGBT+ training for partners and directors, and fundraising events run in support of BeLonG To.

“Later in the month in the run-up to Pride, we’re teaming with LGBT Ireland to run an LGBT awareness session, an event open to all staff at EY,” says Vaughan.

“Our celebrations culminate in Pride itself. This year we will hold a party for EY partners, staff, family and friends at which we will be showing images from the Stonewall 50-year anniversary photographic exhibition.

“This year we have forgone the group walking fee and instead will be donating that amount to BeLonG To, the LGBT Youth charity to sponsor its pre-Pride family breakfast.”