Equality is an increasingly important issue for many of Britain's top employers. Apart from just generally being the right thing to do, embracing a diverse workforce means creating a more effective and productive working environment and making your business as attractive to as wide a talent pool as possible.
That's why the eight organisations named as LGBT campaign group Stonewall's eight 'star performers' will be pretty chuffed with themselves. The list was published today and recognises employers who have been consistently named in its 10 top LGBT-friendly workplaces. They are all now working with Stonewall to introduce new initiatives to promote equality.
The eight include housing group Gentoo, which is working to support older LGBT tenants in their homes and to combat domestic abuse in same-sex relationships. Meanwhile, Barclays will launch a campaign to engage 'straight allies' around the world. The bank has a large presence in Africa, where some Governments have become increasingly regressive in their attitude towards gay people. It didn't exactly come out swinging against Uganda's anti-gay bill, but did say it made its view clear to the Government.
Some may be surprised to see the Home Office included in the list. It has been criticised in the past by Stonewall for its treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, but has committed to improve the way cases are handled and was named LGBT employer of the year in 2011.
‘All eight of our Star Performers have consistently proved that they can make the world a better place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people,' Stonewall's chief executive Ruth Hunt said. 'Each of our Star Performers has committed to an ambitious programme of work to improve the lives of LGBT people which will have real, tangible results. This takes workplace equality to the next level.’
The full list:
The Home Office
Simmons & Simmons