NGLCC Global Spotlight on Agents of Change: Accenture and LGBTI Inclusion
Nedra Dickson, Managing DIrector & GLobal Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Lead at Accenture, at the
2017 NGLCC Global LGBTI Business Week, at the U.N. Foundation
This piece is part one of a three-part series, which highlights the work of NGLCC’s partners to advance the well-being and economic empowerment of the global LGBTI community
As the business voice of the LGBT community in the United States, NGLCC connects the private sector and LGBT businesses owners to find job opportunities that increase LGBT economic empowerment. Operating within this paradigm, NGLCC has found an increase in the socioeconomic well-being of LGBT people and the economy at large. In many countries outside of the U.S., however, many corporations can and should do more to be stronger agents of change - within the workplace as well as in all the communities they operate.
While the private sector’s support of the rights and inclusion of LGBTI (including intersex) people has increased, it has also caused an essential reframing of said corporate initiatives. Namely, steps toward LGBTI equality are no longer viewed as beneficent work or as acts of charity, but rather as requisite work. The value of this shift has been brought into focus by the U.N.’s Standards of Conduct for Business: Tackling Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex People. This blog examines Accenture, as a supporter of the U.N. standards as well as LGBTI business owners, and why they can be considered as one such agent of change.=
In 2017, the United Nations Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights released the Standards to galvanize the collective power of the private sector and guide their interventions on behalf of LGBTI issues. Since then, there have been huge strides on behalf of the private sector to champion these issues, with more than 200+ having shown support, at the time of this writing.
Since their release, more corporations have shown support for the U.N. Standards and are beginning to implement them. Accenture in particular has shown global leadership by turning these guidelines into practice. For example, its non-discrimination policies ensure LGBTI employees are granted equal opportunities in the workplace. Accenture provides equal benefits and employee support in headquarters and country offices. This includes insurance coverage for gender-affirming surgery, worldwide employee resource groups, and a “global ally” program.
Apart from the internal support it provides for employees, Accenture’s programs aim to spark change in all of the places they do business through supplier diversity programming. Supplier diversity is a proactive business strategy, utilizing diverse suppliers to be involved with the procurement of goods and services, which generates innovative outcomes and increases profits. Accenture runs this program throughout the U.S. as well as many other countries. Its Global Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Program reaches 17 countries and The Diverse Supplier Development Program engages the LGBTI business community by matching executive mentors with international businesses.
By supporting and implementing the U.N. Standards as well as its dynamic partnership with NGLCC, Accenture accelerates the progress on LGBTI economic empowerment. As NGLCC has seen in Accenture’s collaboration in 2017 and 2018 during Global LGBTI Business Week, along with participation at the 2018 Global UK|EU Summit, it has stepped up as a global agent of change and will continue to structure a more inclusive economic ecosystem for LGBTI people.
Ernest Cordova, Managing Director at Accenture & Co-Chair of Global LGBTI Business Week 2018