Learning Rewired

#15 LGBTQ+ & Inclusive Organisations

It has never been more critical for organisations to be authentic about inclusiveness. Yet, many leaders still lack the self-awareness, language or emotional skills needed to engage effectively and empathetically with LGBTQ+ members of their business.

In this episode, we discuss the pressures and pitfalls facing organisations today as they move more consciously and assertively towards greater LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Victor Nieves, Partner at EY and LGBTA network Unity.
Meet our Guest

Victor Nieves

Victor Nieves is a Partner at EY who has led various EY employee diversity and inclusiveness initiatives in the workplace.

He was the head of EY’s LGBTA network called Unity from 2010 to 2017 and still continues to support the group by providing input to several Global and Europe-wide group initiatives.

He was part of the team who helped lead EY’s effort to be named Stonewall’s “Employer of the Year” in 2012. While in 2018, he ranked #13 on the OUTstanding LGBT+ Executive Role Models list, presented by the FT.

Nieves is a member of the Society of Leadership Fellows of St. George’s House which helps him broaden his perspectives and point of views on leadership topics through networking with his other fellows.

Learn more about Victor Nieves

In this Episode...

Can an organisation reach a culture of safety and operate in a way where people feel able to be themselves? It is always a constant journey. You're constantly trying to address the current challenges that individuals face in society. And you're also trying to increase your pace of change. For any organisation in a growth mode trying to grow their businesses, it means that you're likely bringing new people in to the organisation in order to help achieve that - those people are coming from different backgrounds, cultures, organisations that don't necessarily reflect the way that you operate. So you have to ensure that you're constantly working on reinforcing that messaging. And also, you're sometimes losing people, which means sometimes you are losing some of the people who've been championing some of this within the organisation as well. It is a constant effort that we have to make, the journey is almost never complete. And I think we're far ways from it in the world.
How can organisations support LGBTQ+ employees? Where do you start? Everyone should look to start on a basis of knowledge and understanding and fact versus assumption. (…) make sure that you understand the temperature of the people who you're actually trying to support (…) understand the needs of the people, whether that be via staff survey, or focus groups, or discussions with employee networks - they actually do serve a huge purpose within an organisation. Because if you start using assumptions and applying them based on other organisations experience, or perhaps experience you brought from another organisation, then you're not actually working towards what your organisations needs. Diversity and Inclusion has a solid base and foundation but at the same time not everything is one size fits all for an organisation.