The evidence is clear: organisations with LGBT diversity beat competitors. Diversity is also a strong selling point for job seekers, with two-thirds reporting that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.
The LGBT charity, Stonewall, recently announced the UK’s 2019 top 100 employers for LGBT equality. The list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool for employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality. Representing the public, private and third sectors, hundreds of organisations submitted entries to the 2019 Index.
The Index also rated how British organisations promote trans equality in the workplace. A recent report by Stonewall revealed half of trans people hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive at Stonewall, said, "Creating a workplace environment that accepts everyone isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. When staff feel comfortable, happy and understood they will, of course, perform much better than if they’re having to hide who they are, or if they’re scared to go to work for fear of abuse.”
10 of the employers for LGBT workplace equality hiring now are:
What They Do: "Pinsent Masons (formerly Pinsents) is a full-service law firm that focuses on eight core markets: energy and utilities, financial services and insurance, government, infrastructure and construction services, manufacturing and engineering, real estate, services, and technology."
Inclusivity Details: "Over the last few years we've been working hard to make sure our firm promotes and encourages trans and non-binary gender equality, and have taken steps such as rolling out training for HR and front of house staff, introducing an option for employees and clients to use the gender-neutral Mx title, as well as setting up a working group to consider changes we can make to our facilities and workspaces to be more inclusive of all gender identities. It's something that will continue to be a focus for our LGBT and Allies network throughout 2018." —Kate Fergusson, Head of Responsible Business at Pinsent Masons
What Employees Say: “Good work-life balance, and opportunities for training. The partners respect each employee, no matter how junior, as a person, and are open to listening to feedback. Strong company values.” - Current Employee- Current Employee
What They Do: “Lloyds Banking Group is the UK’s largest financial services group with over 30 million customers, and a presence in nearly every community.”
Inclusivity Details: Lloyds launched a new colleague volunteering programme, forming official partnerships with various LGBT charities, volunteering over 1,000 hours and raising £30,000 for them throughout the year. They also support Bi Awareness Day and Transgender Day of Visibility, with new training tools, social media campaigns and by flying the bisexual flag and transgender flags at 35 of their key sites.
What Employees Say: “Progressive bank with a real passion for colleagues and changing the lives of UK citizens for the better. Great business model and a real understanding of pivoting digital technology into the business.” - Current Executive Director
What They Do: "Citi’s mission is to serve as a trusted partner to our clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress. Our core activities are safeguarding assets, lending money, making payments and accessing the capital markets on behalf of our clients."
Inclusivity Details: In the UK, Citi is a founding member of the Stonewall Global Diversity Champions Group and also of the Inside and Out Banking Recruitment Event. They also sponsor the London Pride Parade and its Gala dinner. In the US, Citi was one of the first financial institutions to sign the Amicus brief for marriage equality. Stonewall also recognised Clare Eastburn, global head of operational regulatory change and co-chair for Citi Pride London, as their Bi Role Model of the Year. Eastburn said, “Everyone needs role models in life, but I think we all have a responsibility to make our workplaces and our communities more accepting so that everyone can thrive. I’m lucky to work at an organisation as supportive as Citi, where inclusion is such an important part of our culture and where we are continually striving to do more.”
What Employees Say: “Good Work-Life Balance. Excellent teamwork and fantastic culture.” - Current Employee
What They Do: Multinational law firm that offers “clients and talent both the uncompromising commitment to excellence expected of a top firm and a distinctive way of thinking, working and behaving — as a passionately global and genuinely collaborative firm.”
Inclusivity Details: Staff involvement in diversity issues is encouraged through focus groups and activities such as an Allies network. The firm also supports LGBT community groups, including The Albert Kennedy Trust and The London Gay Men's Chorus.
Chair of Baker McKenzie's Global LGBT initiative and London IT/Commercial partner, Harry Small, was awarded Stonewall's highly prestigious Global Senior Champion Award for promoting LGBT workplace equality.
What Employees Say: “Baker McKenzie prides itself on diversity while also maintaining a very strong market share in all of its sectors.” - Current Brand Ambassador
What They Do: "We were established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment. We have around 10,600 employees. Our head office is in Bristol and we have another office in London. We have offices across England, divided into 14 areas."
Inclusivity Details: "This year the Environment Agency was placed 18th in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, showing that we are one of the top employers for LGBT+ people in the UK. This is our 11th consecutive year in the top 100, which is a pretty rare achievement and shows our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement for the inclusion of all our LGBT+ colleagues, customers and partners."
What Employees Say: "Pros: Flexibility. Development. Colleagues. Strong value of staff well being." - Current Administrative Assistant
What They Do: "We are a social enterprise and a charity with a turnover of over £360m and one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care."
Inclusivity Details: “In recent years, we’ve established powerful support networks for LGBT+ colleagues, and set up an allies network which has gone from strength to strength. Our ‘role models’ and ‘life swap’ programmes encourage people to share their stories and to support others to be more knowledgeable about the challenges that LGBT people face in the workplace. Our annual diversity conference aims to celebrate, educate and promote." —Susan Fulton, Director of People at Home Group
What Employees Say: "Supportive, flexible, good benefits, good wage, good office and location, real community feel, good development opportunities." - Current Finance Support Partner
What They Do: "We are a science-led global healthcare company. We research and develop a broad range of innovative products in three primary areas of Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare."
Inclusivity Details: "We have pledged our support for the UN LGBTI global business standards and we have achieved strong rankings in workplace equality indices around the world," GSK says. Among their many notable achievements, GSK’s LGBT+ network, Spectrum, was named Employee Network Group of the Year 2019 by Stonewall. Spectrum have run awareness campaigns, organised events and "helped shape policy, engagement and training across the business."
What Employees Say: "Excellent culture. Strong leadership. Clear strategy. Good working atmosphere." - Current Finance Director
What They Do: "Victim Support (VS) is an independent charity dedicated to supporting victims of crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales. Our purpose is to provide specialist help to support people to cope and recover to the point where they feel they are back on track with their lives."
Inclusivity Details: "Stonewall Workplace Equality Index top 100 Employer since 2010. We have consistently maintaining our position in the Stonewall Top 100 employers with feedback from Stonewall that highlighted that Victim Support has worked hard to create an inclusive culture, demonstrating high levels of inclusivity scores and being a good place to work for LGBT+ employees, volunteers and providing an equitable service to LGBT+ service users."
What Employees Say: "Fantastic organisation to work for, whilst ensuring effective support for victims of crime support for staff is excellent allowing work life balance and salaries competitive within the 3rd Sector." - Current Team Leader
What They Do: "We are a consumer, corporate and investment bank, one of the world’s largest and most respected financial institutions, with a heritage of success, quality and innovation stretching back over 325 years."
Inclusivity Details: The LGBT community is one of five global pillars of focus at Barclay's. The company have sponsored London pride since 2014, were the first UK bank to feature a same-sex couple in their advertising and have an employee resource group called Spectrum, where the "focus is on supporting LGBT people within Barclays, so that they can make a valuable contribution to the overall success of our organisation."
What Employees Say: "Good pay, fair, inclusive, good parent support." - Current Employee