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UK’s top LGBT employers list reveals inclusion gap in private sector

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LGBT charity, Stonewall has just released its annual ranking of the UK’s top 100 LGBT employers. The results show that work still needs to be done in the private sector to make work environments more inclusive.

As part of the study, organisations were requested to submit their LGBT inclusion policies across multiple areas of their operations including policies and benefits, the employee lifecycle, LGBT employee network groups, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement, clients customers and service users, and evidence of additional innovation work.

The study, that surveyed over 500 businesses and included the responses of 109,993 employees revealed a positive step from management in becoming more LGBT friendly with “more employers than ever taking LGBT inclusion seriously.”

However, the findings also found that LGBT inclusion has been less well implemented at micro-level within organisations, with “more than a third of LGBT staff have hidden their identity for fear of discrimination, while one in eight trans people have been physically attacked by a customer or colleague.”

The country’s top 10 LGBT inclusive employers, according to the charity, are mostly governmental organisations such as Newcastle City Council, (1), the Ministry of Justice, (2), and the National Assembly for Wales, (8).

The absence of private-sector firms on the list is obvious, with the exemption of a few multi-national companies such as investment bank Citigroup, (7), pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, (GSK) (6) and international law firm Pinsent Masons, (4).

The published research, with its demonstrable examples of the inclusive work done by the country’s government and charitable organisations, could be implemented by employers of SME businesses on a smaller scale, such as upskilling hiring managers on inclusive recruitment practises; a policy that earned Newcastle City Council the top spot on the list.

Stonewall commended the work that Newcastle City Council has done over the past year to promote LGBT inclusion, including “campaigning, supporting and highlighting the LGBT community.” The charity had this to say about its ‘Employer of the Year’:

“They’ve also utilised LGBT community events, such as Prides, to reach out to LGBT talent and encourage them to apply for roles within the council. Finally, they have a thorough, mandatory training programme for managers with recruitment responsibilities. This features sections on LGBT recruitment, to help management understand the barriers faced by LGBT jobseekers, and how to practice inclusive and fair recruitment.”

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