LGBT+ inclusion: Can you apply a globally consistent policy across an inconsistent world?


Source: To access the full report click on the link above. 

EY have collaborated with the New York University School of Law’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging on a discussion paper, Opening up the World: How multinational organizations can ascend the maturity curve on LGBT+ rights to help spark a conversation among multinational organisations about advancing through three models of LGBT+ engagement within their individual offices.

The models for progressing the LGBT inclusion agenda as an MNC, first introduced in 2016 in a Centre for Talent Innovation report, are summarised by EY as follows:

  • When in Rome
    • This is the earliest model where organizations follow the norms of the jurisdiction by creating exceptions to their pro-LGBT+ policies. Companies are usually eager to move beyond this stage, but should carefully assess any potential risks that could be detrimental to their employees or their business, before taking action. Some ways that companies can start to build capacity in this model are to cultivate grassroots, local and global leadership champions, focus on allies and begin raising awareness of the value of LGBT+ inclusion.
  • Embassy
    • Companies apply pro-LGBT+ policies and practices to their own employees without seeking to change the laws or culture outside the company. Policies can include nondiscrimination policies that prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, provide equivalent medical and other benefits for same-sex spouses and domestic partners, offer training and education on LGBT+ topics, and establish an LGBT+ employee resource group (ERG). To move to the next model, companies can increase focus on leadership champions, invest more time and resources in the ERG, and forge external coalitions with other companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to be better advocates.
  • Advocate
    • This is the state where corporations strive to change the climate in the country, such as by lobbying the government or supporting local activists.  Even when this model is reached, an organization needs to continue to monitor, adjust and improve.  Companies can do this through educating their champions of the types of advocacy that work in certain cultures, securing higher budgets for LGBT+ activities, streamlining approval processes for external advocacy, and ensuring that their initiatives speak to all subgroups within the LGBT+ umbrella.