The top US consulting firms for LGBTQ employees and allies

01 February 2021 5 min. read

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has unveiled its ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality 2021’ list, featuring the top employers in the US for LGBTQ people and allies. Over 30 consulting firms managed to land a spot on the prestigious list of top LGBTQ workplaces.

Since launching over a decade ago, the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) has evolved into the nation’s leading benchmarking survey that evaluates the LGBTQ-related corporate policies and practices of more than 1,000 companies, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community.

This year, 1,142 major US companies receive the designation ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality’, of which over 750 achieved a perfect score on the back of their excellence across all aspects of LGBT inclusion and support. To receive the designation, employers need to take concrete steps to establish and implement comprehensive policies, benefits and practices that ensure greater equity for LGBTQ workers and their families.

The top US consulting firms for LGBTQ employees and allies

An overview of the top consulting firm employers for LGBT people:

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co
Bain & Company
Booz Allen Hamilton
Boston Consulting Group
Grant Thornton
Korn Ferry
Marsh & McLennan Companies
McKinsey & Company
PwC (and Strategy&)
Protiviti (as part of Robert Half)
West Monroe Partners
Willis Towers Watson
ZS Associates

Reactions from consulting leaders

Commenting on the recognition, Joe Davis, chairman of Boston Consulting Group for North America said: “We are immensely proud of our perfect score for the twelfth year on the Corporate Equality Index. This is only possible because every day, BCG team members everywhere recognize that inclusion, humanity, and empathy are drivers of innovation and value. The diversity of experience and background amongst our teams creates opportunities to flourish and succeed. The contribution of our people is fundamental to our success.”

BCG’s LGBT efforts revolve around a variety of diversity and inclusion programs, including staff affiliation networks such as Women@BCG, Pride@BCG, Black+Latinx@BCG, The Asian Diversity Network, Veternans@BCG, and the AccessAbility  Initiative.

Fellow strategy consulting firm Bain & Company says its was the first global consulting firm to offer reimbursement to same-sex couples for federal taxes levied on domestic partner health benefits. The consultancy also prides itself on extensive gender affirmation health benefits and a robust Workplace Gender Transition Guide.

Manny Maceda, Bain & Company’s worldwide managing partner said, “Bain’s commitment to LGBTQ equality has been a pillar of our global diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts for more than two decades.”

João Soares, a Bain partner based in London and global head of BGLAD, the LGBTQ network at Bain added: “HRC raises the bar every year on what it means to be a best place to work for LGBTQ equality, yet we continue to challenge our teams to think beyond this ambitious threshold and lead out front on LGBTQ issues.”

Further reading: Why Bain added 'equity' to its diversity and inclusion strategy.

Simon Freakley, the CEO of AlixPartners, said on behalf of his firm that he is proud of the “great recognition of AlixPartners’ efforts to ensure our LGBTQ colleagues feel welcome and supported in the workplace.” Filip Nemeth, SVP at AlixPartners and PrideMatters leader, added: “However, our work is not over yet. We need to continue to drive for equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion – not just in the workplace but also in our communities.”

Dan Reardon, CEO and chairman of North Highland, remarked: “As a people-centered firm, North Highland is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for individuals that celebrates diversity in identity, background, thought, experience, contributions and characteristics."

“Lasting change starts from within, and North Highland is dedicated to bringing diversity and inclusion efforts to the forefront of our strategic focus,” said Alex Bombeck, North Highland managing director and group president. “We are thrilled to be ranked so highly for our commitment to LGBTQ workplace equality by this prestigious group, and will continue to be unwavering in our commitment to ensuring equality for all employees.”

The LGBT efforts of West Monroe Partners are led by its LGBTQ employee resource group WMPride, formed three years ago. Today, it has champions in each office and approximately 150 members, including allies. Kevin McCarty, CEO of the consultancy, said: “We simply cannot create the innovative, top-tier solutions our clients expect without diverse perspectives that allow us to think through issues in different ways. To ensure diversity of thought, we must embrace and demonstrate inclusion in every sense.”