Consulting firms exemplify diversity and inclusion on Wear it Purple day

30 August 2018 4 min. read

Australia is preparing for the first Wear it Purple day this Friday since same-sex marriage was legalised last year. The slogan for this year’s celebrations is #empowertogether and businesses all around the country will be encouraging their employees to wear purple to show solidarity with LGBTI+ employees.

In the aftermath of what was a bitter public debate on same-sex marriage in the Australian sphere last year, Wear it Purple is a day for empowering young people to be themselves at work. At the forefront of this drive for diversity and inclusion in the corporate world are naturally; management and strategy consulting firms.

It is a common belief in the consulting industry that diversity makes firms stronger. A recent McKinsey & Company report highlights the link between diversity and a company’s financial performance. According to ‘Delivering Through Diversity’, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. EY put that number at as high as 35%.

That’s a huge reason in itself to get behind creating an inclusive workplace but it’s by far not the only one. Other incentives include attracting and retain top talent – the greatest challenge for every big firm – as well as improve their customer orientation, public image, employee satisfaction, and decision making.

Examples of diversity and inclusion can be found spread across each and every forward thinking consulting firm’s website. Keeping in mind that a backwards thinking consulting firm would be a very short lived business model, the majority have moved towards inclusion as more than just a publicity initiative.

Consulting firms exemplify diversity and inclusion on Wear it Purple day

Examples of this can be found scattered throughout the past year alone, with Deloitte’s OUTstanding 50, a collection of inspirational stories from LGBTI+ business leaders across the country. A diverse and inclusive workplace is also more productive, more creative and more driven towards innovation. “Its imperative to business success today, I don’t believe that any organisation is going to be sustainable in the long run if they don’t see this,” said Cindy Hook, Deloitte's Asia Pacific CEO.

EY have also been praised for their work striving towards creating an inclusive space. Earlier this year the firm were aptly named Australia’s Most Inclusive Workplace at the Pride in Diversity awards. “There’s not just one thing you can do that’s going to make a different, its got to be everything and its got to be constant,” said EY’s Managing Partner for Advisory, Lynn Kraus upon receiving the award.

Both of these examples show the consulting industry standing firmly behind inclusion and diversity beyond simply shouting it from the rooftops. And this Friday, is no different. KPMG Australia have already posted an inspirational story from management consultant Emma Balfou encouraging employees to get on board and Wear it Purple.

“I made a conscious choice to join KPMG because I knew that the people here would accept me as one of their own – as one of their family. I’ve chosen to be here. I’ve chosen to be out. I’ve chosen KPMG as my work family. And to show my work family and all young queer Australians that I’m here for them, I’m going to Wear It Purple.”

Accenture too have expressed their support albiet in a different way. The technology consulting giant yesterday put out a story including tips for coming out at work by Anthony Angelo Capuzza. He said “What I love most about Pride at Accenture, as an LGBTI employee, is when straight employees get behind it. That really makes me feel good and way more connected to the company than when it’s just gay people flying the flag. We’re all so much stronger when we’re together. I feel the same about gender equality.”

Being at the forefront of change means constantly striving to creating a better workplace. A firm’s culture emanates through its initiatives and consultancies will continue to lead in this space until it there is no longer a question of agenda. Putting diversity and inclusion at the centre of a business strategy is sensible because when people from “different backgrounds and different points of view work together they create the greatest value - for our business, our clients and society,” according to PwC.