Racing Towards Diversity Racing Toward Diversity - Fall 2014 : Page 23

Then we moved to working on race and ethnicity. I can remember the first time I was on stage talking about diverse populations and I added sexual orientation. Later that day, I was hearing people say, ‘Jim said this, Jim said this.’ You realize that the power of your own words can begin to move an organization.” The open environment enabled senior partner Beth Brooke, a close associate, to come out with no hostile reactions. “I am just so proud of her for being honest with herself and who she is,” said Turley, who estimates that 10 to 15 percent of the organization is LGBT. “And I’m proud of our organization because, frankly, people don’t care. They just care about her talent. They care about her being part of Ernst & Young and of what she does every day. “I am proud to be an ally of our LGBT network. It is not just being there when I’m needed. It’s not just giving approval or financial support. It’s also about talking openly about it. It is no secret that 10-15 percent or more of our people are LGBT. Now we talk about it. It is important to get allies who are willing to acknowledge the world as it is.” Diversity extends beyond employees, especially to suppliers. “The team is not just the people who are on your payroll,” Turley said. “The team is everyone through your supply chain. Increasingly, we hear this from our clients. They want to see teams that look like them. Gender and race are visible differences. Sexual orientation is not so we don’t get as many questions around that, but I think it’s equally important in the future. “When you have different voices coming together, the solution is going to be better. When we have that kind of magic happen, we make more money. This is true of our own people, and it’s true of the organizations that supply us.” The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT owned businesses. To learn more: FALL 2014 Racing Toward Diversity Magazine 23

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