Ernst & Young Becomes First Big 4 Professional Services Firm to Ban Gender Identity-Based Discrimina

by HRC Staff

'Gender identity is irrelevant to how well employees do their job,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

- The Human Rights Campaign praised Ernst &amp Young LLP for recognizing the need to protect employees from discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The firm becomes the first of the Big 4 accounting and professional services firms to reach 100 percent on HRC's Corporate Equality Index, ranking companies on how they treat gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers.

"Gender identity is irrelevant to how well employees do their job," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Ernst & Young understands this is an issue of basic fairness. It also makes good business sense, with more and more major companies instituting policies that ensure a level playing field for all employees. It's rewarding to see Ernst & Young become the leader in their industry."

"People are our greatest asset and we are committed to an inclusive, flexible work environment that values diversity of thought and people," said John Ferraro, vice chair-client service, Ernst & Young LLP. "Ernst & Young is proud to be recognized for having a 100 percent rating on HRC's Corporate Equality Index because we take pride in our culture of inclusiveness."

"Companies are recognizing the business imperative of being first in their industry to ensure equal treatment for all of their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees," said Emily Jones, co-chair of the HRC Business Council. The Business Council is a group of 25 corporate leaders who provide expert advice and counsel on GLBT workplace issues based on their business experience and knowledge. Part of the council's set priorities for 2005 is the inclusion of gender identity and expression in more Fortune 500 companies' non-discrimination policies.

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