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Providing GLBT Workplace Benefits Today for Tomorrow’s Workforce

By Melissa J. Anderson

Readers of Evolved Employer know the importance of nurturing an inclusive culture at your company. Tomorrow’s employees want more than a paycheck – they want to work for a company which embraces the same values they do.

A February Pew report on the Millennials (individuals 18-29) and shows that they are the most tolerant generation.

According to the report:

“They are also the only generation to favor the legalization of gay marriage —they do so by a 50% to 36% margin, with the remainder undecided. When it comes to the other generations, support for gay marriage declines in a fairly straight progression from young to old: 43% of Gen Xers, 32% of Baby Boomers and 24% of Silents favor legalizing gay marriage.”

As more Millennial enter the professional workforce, they will begin to expect a company reflecting their values toward GLBT individuals – such as same-sex benefits, recognition and acceptance of GLBT workers, and a tolerant workplace. What is your company doing to respond to this business imperative?

Recognizing GLBT-Friendly Companies

What is the value of recognizing GLBT friendly companies? It puts them ahead of the game, in attracting tomorrow’s high-performing workers. As boomers retire, many economists predict a labor shortage – many Millennials will have their pick of jobs. Your company will have to stay competitive!

Recently KMPG was recognized by the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) as International Corporation of the Year for its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Pascal Lépine, Secretary General at IGLCC said, “KPMG’s support of the IGLCC comes at a time when understanding the relevance of equal policies and practices has an international urgency.” he continued, “We see this understanding as essential for corporations to succeed in working with the LGBT community. We applaud KPMG’s vision and support of what we believe is the core of our mission.”

To KPMG, the award is about creating an inclusive workforce, which benefits all of its employees – and potential employees. Michael Bach, deputy director of diversity at KPMG International said, “We are honored to receive this recognition from the IGLCC.” He explained that creating an inclusive workplace is integral to KPMG’s values and culture.

“KPMG has long been committed to making our organization a great place to work and build a career and that includes creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment that embraces individual differences and supports the development of all our people,” he said.

Some of KPMG’s diversity efforts include GLBT networks, diversity training, and internal surveys.

Moving Toward Greater Openness

The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 2010 released last year showed that companies are becoming more progressive in terms of GLBT inclusiveness and diversity. According to the report:

“305 businesses achieved the top rating of 100 percent this year, compared with 260 businesses in the previous year. This accounts for 58 businesses that reached 100 percent for the first time and 13 no longer on the list, for a net increase of 45 businesses. Collectively, these businesses employ 9,328,085 full-time U.S. workers. When the Corporate Equality Index was launched in 2002, only 13 businesses achieved 100 percent.”

The rising numbers show employers are recognizing the importance of GLBT diversity to the workforce. Is your company moving forward in terms of inclusiveness? In April, the HRC released its 2011 survey. To participate, click here: http://www.hrc.org/issues/workplace/cei_participate.htm

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