Leona Young’s mission when she joined the LGBTQ & Allies employee resource group was to help Ericsson apply for the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. As the interface working directly with the HRC, Young coordinated with the sourcing, HR and legal teams to make sure Ericsson had the best application possible.
“When a company provide benefits for transgender employees, when someone’s sexual orientation has absolutely no bearing on their job or promotion opportunities, and when someone doesn’t have to think twice about referring to ‘my wife’ or ‘my husband’, that’s when you’re in the right,” Young said. “To me, Ericsson has been that way for a long time, so it is important for people to know that.”
Director of Project Operations for Customer Unit Regional Carriers, Young has worked for Ericsson for 22 years. Over the course of those 22 years, Young said she has seen a positive shift in society that Ericsson has reflected in the early adoption of same-sex partner and transgender benefits as well as policy changes.
“We’ve seen these changes happen over time, and one of the great things about Ericsson is that they’ve really tried to stay ahead,” she said. “Ericsson did not wait until there was some sort of government mandate. It was the right thing to do, which is what I expect from Ericsson.”
Young has also experienced firsthand being an ally for LGBT members of her family who have faced discrimination.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that people can be themselves without fear of retribution,” Young said. “That is part of our corporate values, so I want to make sure the world realizes that not only do we say all the right things, but we walk the walk, too.”