Next Monday, June 11, Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Company, will receive The Trevor Project’s distinguished 20/20 Visionary Award on behalf of McKinsey & Company. The award celebrates businesses and business leaders that empower their employees to be themselves both personally and professionally, that have policies and procedures that support diversity and inclusion and that use their success to give back to the community, especially LGBTQ youth.
The Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE ceremony, where Barton will receive the award, will take place at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York City and be hosted by Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon. McKinsey and Company, along with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Lena Waithe and film and television writer Greg Berlanti will be awarded for their commitment to serving and supporting the LGBTQ community, especially as it relates to the Trevor Project’s mission of providing crisis intervention services to suicidal LGBTQ youth.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. As the Trevor Projects’ Executive Director, Amit Paley says, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the country for young people, and in some states, it’s the leading cause of death for young people. LGBT young people are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.” With numerous initiatives, TrevorLIVE being one of them, The Trevor Project works hard to end these statistics.
We had the privilege of interviewing both Barton and Paley to learn more about why Barton is being honored with the 2018 20/20 Visionary Award, The Trevor Project and the intersection of personal finance in mental health and business.
It’s clear why Barton earned this award on behalf of McKinsey & Company. Paley says of McKinsey & Company, “[They’ve] done a huge amount for LGBT in general, LGBT youth specifically and Trevor Project in particular. McKinsey & Company had supportive policies early on for its employees who are part of same-sex relationships, an LGBTQ employee group and it covers gender affirmation surgery for trans employees. Barton, in particular, has been integral in pushing for policies and creating a culture at McKinsey & Company that support the LGBTQ community. ”
These types of actions go far in helping McKinsey & Company’s LGBTQ employees, clients and the general public affirm their sexual orientation and gender identity. This adds value to McKinsey & Company’s customers and employees.
The value of inclusion in the workplace
When asked why supporting LGBTQ people and issues is important to Barton, he responded, “We have a mission statement with two equal parts. The first is to have a lasting impact on our clients and the second is to attract and retain the best talent. We can’t do either if we aren’t attracting a broad set of the best available talent. Therefore, we need LGBTQ people to feel comfortable that McKinsey & Company is a good place to work.”
“We have a recruiting program to attract the LGBTQ community. I just love it. The people we’re able to attract from that is just great,” Barton continues. “Our GLAM network (McKinsey & Company’s LGBTQ business resource group) is the fastest growing network in the firm. Not only from a moral point of view is this important, but from a business and economic point of view it’s important.”
Despite the ubiquity of Barton’s opinion in the business world today and more studies showing that inclusive workplaces improve a company’s bottom line, not all business leaders are on board with providing LGBTQ workplace protections. To that, Barton says, “ Wake up and get on with it! Just coming at it from an economic viewpoint, from a shareholder’s viewpoint, you aren’t a good business leader if you don’t [have LGBTQ protections]. You’re not attracting the best talent, and you’re not creating the conditions for broad-minded thinking.”
Even though inclusive workplaces might attract and retain the best talent, studies show that people who appear to be LGBTQ find it harder to “be hired, are paid less and aren’t promoted” as readily. Barton says, “I do think there are biases there, and one of the most important things we can do is bias training for people who are doing the recruiting. I’ve found that those who think they don’t need bias training need it most.”
The intersection of personal finance, work and suicide
People who die by suicide are eight times more likely to have debt. “As a volunteer on our helpline, I know there’s a lot of stress around financial security. When people are in a situation in which it feels challenging, there can be a lot of shame. The best thing to do is to talk about it and to let people know you’re going through a tough time,” Paley shares.
Many in the LGBTQ community suffer from financial insecurity because they feel they must live and spend a certain way to live up to a stereotype. Paley says, “We tell people that you should be proud of who you are and that there are many ways to be happy and successful. We need more diverse role models in our community and, I think of two of the honorees, Waithe and Berlanti, demonstrate that.”