Auditing practitioners at Ernst & Young have initiated an internal group to protect the rights of fellow workers with different sexual orientations, marking the first of its kind in the accounting profession, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
Professionals working in the financial services sector in the city have warned that lack of rules and regulations to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people will undermine Hong Kong’s appeal as a workplace, especially for overseas talents.
Taking action, investment banking and legal professionals have established their own groups, namely “Interbank” and “Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Attorneys Network” (HKGALA), over the past two years.
The groups have called on the government to legislate a new ordinance to prevent discrimination against any types of sexual orientation. That will help the Hong Kong units of multinational corporations to draft internal non-discriminatory guidelines and ensure that LGBT couples have the same benefits as heterosexuals.
Non-profit organization Open to You has warned the financial services sector of higher staff turnover rate if there is no LGBT-friendly environment. The organization estimates that LGBT people constitute about 5 to 10 percent the population in Hong Kong.
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