We see one of the key resources for any organisation is a strong LGBT employee network — one that not only connects with the LGBT community but also actively includes and engages with allies from broader communities.
Our own network — Unity — was founded in the UK in 1995 and now has over 4,500 members around the world. It operates globally on a ‘network-of-networks’ basis, with Unity in each of EY’s geographic regions being run autonomously by our people locally, whilst at the same time being part of something consistent and much larger that can draw together to leverage its collective strength (for example to mark IDAHOT). We take this approach as we believe it is people in each location who fully understand the needs of their location and can most effectively support their local members.
We recognise the importance of providing a wider community that our people can tap into, which is why in the UK and Ireland-wide network that is made up of semi-autonomous ‘hubs’ in different parts of the geography with local leaders and local committees.
Outside London, the Ireland ‘hub’ of our Unity network was launched in 2008 by six colleagues, led by a Director. Since launch, the hub has made a significant impact both internally and externally. Most recently nearly 200 EY people marched together in the Dublin Pride parade. Another major hub outside London covers Scotland and Newcastle, which was formed in 2014 and has seen growth in the network since making good use of technology to connect people across our Scottish offices and leveraging local support from Stonewall Scotland to move the agenda forward.