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Clayton Utz and KPMG launch new LGBTIQ+ initiative

Clayton Utz and KPMG have teamed up to provide advice on how organisations and their employees can be active allies for the LGBTQI+ community.

user iconLauren Croft 30 August 2021 Big Law
Phil Bisset and Alison Woolsey
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The practical guide, I voted yes, what’s next?”, will aim to help organisations on how to engage their people in being active allies for inclusion. It additionally acts as a report on the state of LGBTQI+ allyship in Australia and explores how employers of any size can actively increase ally engagement and further inclusion for LGBTIQ+ employees.

The guide is the culmination of a joint workshop held by the two firms in March this year, during which 10 organisations came together to explore LGBTQI+ themes.

Clayton Utz partner and chair of the Brisbane LGBTIQ committee, Phil Bisset, said the important role allies played in building a diverse and inclusive workplace and advocating LGBTIQ+ inclusion could not go unnoticed or downplayed.  


“As a parent and relative of teenagers and young adults who identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community, I see firsthand the enormous contribution that various allies have made to their lives,” he said.

“We want to encourage more people to be active allies and show their support in tangible ways.”

Whilst LGBTQI+ allyship saw an increase in visibility in the lead-up to the marriage equality postal vote, the report has found a slight decline in visible support – and makes the observation that some organisations and individuals may be unsure of what constitutes being an “active ally”.

“To help organisations that may just be starting to consider allyship as part of their diversity and inclusion initiatives, we’ve grouped practical actions under four key themes: Visibility, Education, Empowerment and Engagement, and Advocacy. Each considers where organisations may be currently on their LGBTIQ+ inclusion path, and what constitutes being a leader in this area,” Mr Bisset added.

“It’s about giving organisations a benchmark and practical tools so they can measure their progress, at whatever stage their allyship network is at.

Over 400 of Clayton Utz employees identify as active LGBTQI+ allies, with the firm having historically hosted many events as part of their LGBTQI+ program, including a Paving the Way event for LGTBQI+ women in 2019, among others.

Clayton Utz’s director of diversity and inclusion Alison Woolsey added showing leadership in LGBTIQ+ inclusion and promoting the role of allies were important for the firm to continue doing.

“We’re proud of our progress to date – and we want to make sure we’re part of continuing to drive the conversation and be part of the solution to promoting greater LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace,” she said. 

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