Professional Services

Sector Overview

Organisations in this sector provide specialised services to other companies. This covers many areas, including accounting, management consultancy, facilities management and IT. The industry is increasingly adapting to the digital age and advanced technology has become integral to many firms. Jobs often require flexibility to cope with the changing demands of clients and the business
world. Across the sector, there are some great opportunities as a graduate or apprentice, and more organisations are taking people on straight after school or college.

Companies of varying sizes are engaged in LGBT inclusion, with many holding LGBT-focused events for their employees throughout the year. Increasingly, these events are attended by LGBT people and allies from other organisations, and this collaboration is part of a real drive to collectively further LGBT equality in the sector.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 59% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 59% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 50% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 89% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

94% of organisations have an LGBT employee network group
63% of organisations have actively promoted LGBT equality and diversity within the sector

Professional Services section supported by EY

In Focus

Professional Services - EY - Rebecca Duncan

Rebecca Duncan, Senior Consultant, People Advisory Services, EY

How did you come to work in professional services?

I started my career working in tax, but now work in a consulting team. My current job involves speaking to clients on all matters people-related, from talent, to redesigning their organisational structure, to setting up new offices – it varies a lot!

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in professional services?

Being LGBT has helped me, as my exposure to so many different people from different LGBT+ networks gives me a greater understanding of how people work. That’s really useful when advising companies on their people strategies. And it means diversity and inclusiveness is front of mind when I speak to clients, which is a space where all companies have room to grow.

What’s it like being LGBT at EY?

Before I graduated, I wasn’t sure if, or even how, to come out at work. But after joining EY, meeting so many welcoming people within our LGBT network, and seeing LGBT+ people and allies displaying rainbow flags around the office, coming out has never been a question for me. It’s very easy for me to be myself at work, which allows me to not only bring all my ideas and individuality to my team and clients, but to also feel comfortable and enjoy my work.

Professional Services - EY - Michael Oakes

Michael A. Oakes, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, EY

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in professional services?

It’s great. The whole professional services sector has made a lot of effort to lead the way in diversity and inclusiveness. There’s still some way to go though, particularly for our lesbian, bi and trans colleagues. I’m sure I’ve had a much more straight-forward career journey than many others. I’ve always felt very strongly that I have a responsibility to do everything I can to enable others to succeed.

Are you involved in the LGBT network at EY?

I’m co-chair of Unity, EY’s LGBT+ professional network in the UK & Ireland. It’s so important that the network exists because it helps our LGBT+ people and allies feel represented and engaged in a very large organisation. We help ensure that the business is at the forefront of progress in LGBT+ inclusion and collaborate closely with our other diversity networks.

What’s the best thing about working at EY?

There’s such an incredible working environment. There’s so much emphasis on our purpose – building a better working world – it really pulls people together. Differences in opinion and perspective are highly valued and diversity and inclusiveness are embedded in our culture. But my colleagues also have a genuine and respectful interest in my LGBT life. They always ask what we’re doing for major events like Pride and what our LGBT+ network is up to.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in your sector?

Go for it! It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a career in actuarial, assurance, consulting, law, tax, technology or transactions – we need creative, talented people from all walks of life.