On September 25, Mike Syers, a partner at Ernst & Young, posted "Making It Real," an Advocate.com exclusive. The piece explains that there has been an unprecedented tenfold increase in major U.S. companies receiving 100% on the 2006 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. Syers says that 138 major companies qualify for that distinction.
Last month, corporate executives coolaborated to produce Making It Real," based on roundtable discussion. It highlighted examples of how leading companies are moving beyond basic nondiscrimination policies toward a more LGBT-inclusive culture. Among its key recommendations: shifting diversity cultures from confrontational "them" to inclusive "us" cultures. Additional recommendations are found in the report.
One thing that is applicable across the board: A commitment to equality at work inevitably expands within employee ranks, beyond the cubicle and the office walls. In today’s highly competitive business environment, a company that not only adopts but also projects a philosophy of respect and fairness for all employees is critical to the recruitment and retention of top-tier candidates.
In other words, doing the right thing pays off for both employees and companies.
Diversity programs aim at changing corporate culture, but they must be done well in order to avoid pouring gas on the flames of simmering cultural, racial, gender, ethnic, and sexual conflicts. Part of the skillfulness of changing corporate culture, it seems, is making everyone responsible for creating cultures of inclusion.