Our people are key to our success and we are proud to have such a diverse firm, with LGBTQ+ individuals represented throughout Crowe.
Our support of Pride Month 2021 represents our continued commitment to ensure that our people have every opportunity to progress, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or background. We want Crowe to be a place where everyone can be their whole self at work.
We have more than 100 LGBTQ+ champions and allies nationally who support colleagues and further the goal of equality by offering our people the opportunity to gain an understanding of issues faced by the community, empowering them to make positive change and challenge unconscious bias.
What Pride means to our people
I believe it’s important to have a network so we can increase the visibility of employees within the LGBTQ+ community, and ensure they are welcome to be their full and true selves at work. Our network aims to ensure all staff know that Crowe values equality across the organisation and that being LGBTQ+ is not a barrier within our firm. This ranges from increasing understanding of orientation, gender, community issues and increasing members visibility within Crowe.
Ally is a term used to describe those who do not identify as LGBTQ+ but who believe that all people should experience equality in the workplace. Good allies recognise that their colleagues can perform better if they can be themselves and bring their whole self to work. Allies can use their voices to create a culture where this can happen. Their involvement – often precisely because they are not LGBTQ+ themselves – can have transformative effect on the culture of an organisation and the workplace experience of employees.
Everybody in an organisation has a role to play to make their workplaces more inclusive. However, it is clear that allies have a crucial role, particularly if they hold positions of seniority.
A real highlight for me this year has been the return of honours to LGBTQ+ military personnel. The ban on LGB individuals serving in the armed forces was lifted in 2000 and transgender individuals in 2014. It is not known how many LGBT service personnel were impacted, or how many may now be able to have their awards restored, but this is an important step towards justice for those who served our country.
It is very important to have an LGBTQ+ and Allies network, as it gives people the comfort that the firm are accepting of their employees, that they understand there are issues the community face, and want to make Crowe a more inclusive workplace for everyone. A work place where everyone can feel they are able to bring their whole selves to work.
Being an ally means being there for people, being someone they can talk to and discuss anything with - problems inside and outside of work. Sometimes people are not 100% comfortable speaking to a Champion, so an ally offers extra support for them. Having allies is so important, as the support received from those not necessarily within the community is hugely important to our progress.
My main highlight, and the reason I am celebrating a lot this year, is because this is my first pride event since coming out last year! I am extremely excited to support and celebrate how far we have come with the network and celebrating love!
The network plays a key role in the advancement of workplace equality. Our colleagues are friends, people that we spend more time with than we do our own families, so it’s really important to make sure everybody can feel comfortable and supported to be themselves.
Allies help to reinforce the evolution of an inclusive, understanding environment for all in the LGBTQ+ community in both their personal and professional lives. It is important that everyone feels comfortable at work and feels able to be themselves. Allies are there to support their colleagues, to listen, and to care.
The past year has demonstrated a lot of things to everybody. It has shown how resilient, how determined, and how resourceful we can all be. It’s also highlighted how fragile life is, how small things can make a big difference, and how we all need to look after one another. This year I will be celebrating the comradery that has evolved out of the pandemic, the feeling of togetherness, and the fact that despite being physically apart, we have remained together.
It is important to have a network because as our values state, ‘we care, we share, we invest, we grow’. These values are based on the quality of our people – and not on a person’s race, creed, sexual orientation or skin colour. It’s the ability of an individual that matters and that they share our values, that way everyone should truly have equal opportunities and feel comfortable to be themselves at Crowe..
Being an ally is important as there is a need to both support and understand the issues that LGBTQ+ people face. An ally can champion equality and diversity, as well as advocate behaviour and infrastructures to help make a significant change within business and wider community.
Here at Crowe, I was delighted to see us hold a dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion section at our annual partner conference. This highlights how seriously and how important ED&I is to us as partners and to the wider firm. I personally found this to be one of the most valuable and thought-provoking session at our conference since I have been a partner and that dates back to 1994.
The network is important because it shows colleagues and prospective employees that they can be themselves at work. It tells them that there is always somewhere to turn if they need support. Having a network endorsed by our Executive team means that LGBTQ+ issues and views are important to the firm, and form part of the internal and external decision making processes.
Being an ally is standing up for fair and equal treatment. Creating a safe and supportive environment for everyone, regardless of their personal orientation. It’s learning about the issues in the LGBTQ+ community and challenging behaviours, language, and discrimination when you see it. Allies are so important to diversity networks, as they provide support, amplify voices, as well as undermining discrimination.
The explosion of LGBTQ+ programmes, films and documentaries into the mainstream media has brought a softening of attitudes and a better understanding of some of the issues in the community. Series’ such as ‘It’s a sin’ and ‘Pose’ have explored the HIV/Aids pandemic and grasped audiences in the process.
Also this year, thousands of LGBT military personnel were able to reclaim medals which were unjustly stripped from them when they were discharged from service for being gay. This was a huge first step towards correcting injustices suffered by the LGBT community serving in our armed forces.
As Chief Executive of Crowe, I encourage us all to be a forward thinking - focused on equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Therefore, I am delighted that we have a fast growing LGBTQ+ and Allies network.
Our network plays a vital role in achieving this, as we stand up for equality, against all discrimination, and we care about making the world a more just place for all. Ultimately, we will not tolerate any inequality or discrimination.
I am proud to be an ally of our LGBTQ+ network. As an ally, I recognise I cannot truly understand the impact discrimination has on people within the LGBTQ+ community However, I am an advocate for equality; I believe that race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-demographic background, health, well-being and disability should not affect how people are treated. My focus is to lead our firm in the only way I can and that is with integrity and a passionate desire to treat everyone with equal fairness and respect. Everyone deserves that.
We are making positive steps as a firm across all of our ED&I initiatives at Crowe and I am appreciative of the passion and drive our LGBTQ+ community have shown to raise awareness, encourage participation and be welcoming and inclusive in everything they do. For me, raising awareness is critical, and I was committed to have ED&I as a key focus at our virtual partner conference this year. I was so proud of the openness, honesty and heartfelt passion from our group networks, who spoke about their experiences in life and why this is all so critically important to us all in today’s world.