I was a little surprised to see an advertisement for a special event recently, which called for LGBT students specifically to attend a meet and greet at the offices of an international management consultancy firm. It made me realise that many employers are now making a concerted effort to reach out to the LGBT community to showcase the diversity of their workforce and the support given to members of staff in order that they reach their true potential no matter what their sexual orientation is.
Stonewall’s survey of the top 100 LGB employers in Britain has been running for nine years already, with each year a more extensive set of criteria for what it takes to be considered for the list being put in place. According to the charity’s chief executive, Ben Summerskill, the purpose for doing this is in order to encourage employers to improve their diversity practices, and because the work of LGB employees is much more effective in an environment where they feel comfortable. Furthermore, employers are rewarded on this list for their stance on equality, in employing people for their abilities and regardless of their orientation.
The Workplace Equality Index works on a points system, with employers being scored on the basis of the experience of LGB employees, the steps they have taken to improve their policies such as including benefits for same-sex partners and what they have done to stamp out discrimination in the workplace, amongst other criteria. The top spot this year was given to management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, Accenture. According to the survey, as a global company, Accenture makes an effort to value the diversity of employees and remains ‘forward-thinking’. Also particularly notable is a network of 200 LGBT employees with a core team of fifteen volunteers who implement programmes which encourage equality in the workplace and the LGBT Allies initiative which includes extensive diversity training for registered members.
Here’s the top ten in its entirety:
- The Co-operative
- Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- Home Office
- Ernst & Young
- Simmons & Simmons
If you’re interested in finding out about more LGB-friendly employers then take a look at the list here. What’s nice about the publication is that it also recognises the most improved employer, outstanding commitment by a senior leader and case studies of employers that have excelled in a particular area such as staff training, which also gives other employers something to take away as regards to how they can do better in these areas.