Lloyds Banking Group has been named the most inclusive employer in Britain by Stonewall.

LGBT charity Stonewall released its Top 100 Employers list for 2017 today, showcasing the best workplaces for LGBT staff – celebrating some of the pioneering work on diversity issues to help create inclusive workplaces.

Lloyds Banking Group, which came second in 2016, topped the rankings.

The bank was commended for a pioneering policy extending private healthcare benefits for employees to include treatment and support for transgender people – becoming the first major UK company to provide access to private transition treatment.

In addition to running an ad campaign featuring a same-sex proposal, Lloyds also launched a new colleague volunteering programme and formed official partnerships with LGBT organisations and charities, serving as headline sponsor the 2016 PinkNews Awards.

The bank also works with trans youth charity Mermaids, elder LGBT organisation Opening Doors London and the Albert Kennedy Trust, for homeless LGBT youth, volunteering over 1,000 hours and raising £30,000 for them throughout the year.

They’ve also supported 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.

Karin Cook, Lloyds Executive Sponsor for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, said: “We are delighted to be recognised as the leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Stonewall Top 100 list.

“As part of our ongoing ambition to help Britain prosper, we are immensely proud to receive this accolade which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to diversity in our workforce by providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.”

António Horta Osório, Group Chief Executive, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by Stonewall as the leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting diversity in its workforce so that we can harness all of the qualities and talents of our colleagues to achieve our aim of helping Britain prosper.”

Law firm Pinsent Masons came second (up from fifth in 2016), followed by bank J.P. Morgan (41 in 2016).

This year saw 439 organisations take part in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, the highest number in its 12-year history. Each participant must demonstrate their expertise in 10 distinct areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, career development, training, and community engagement.

More than 92,000 staff from across these organisations also took part in an anonymous survey about their employers’ attitudes towards workplace culture, diversity, and inclusion, making it one of the largest national employment surveys in Britain.

The House of Commons made it into the Top 100 for the first time, ranked 28th.

Writing for PinkNews, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “I am exceptionally proud that the House of Commons has made such significant progress in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index of top 100 employers, which I have been passionately championing as Speaker of the House of Commons.

“It shows our commitment to providing a workplace where all our staff feel valued and supported. Receiving a coveted place in the Stonewall top 100 sends a strong message about who we are as an organisation. Our aim as a diverse employer is to recruit, retain and promote the best people and to be representative of the society we serve.

“The Stonewall WEI ranking is an important acknowledgement of our commitment to both our staff and the public. The House’s position on this list represents its dedication to improving inclusivity for our people. This could not have been achieved without the ongoing efforts of our Diversity and Inclusion team, the Workplace Equality Network for LGBTIQ people, ParliOUT and its champions at all levels across the organisation.”

Stonewall exec Ruth Hunt said: “Lloyds Banking Group is a trailblazer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, and an example of a business that consistently ensures that all staff feel empowered and supported, no matter who they are.

“We’ve learned over the last year that nothing is certain – and this extends to human rights. Corporate organisations have the power to influence this and protect LGBT people, and so it is reassuring to see so many private firms represented in our Top 10 and Top 100.

“I’d like to thank all of those organisations that took part in the Index, for each showing a real commitment to LGBT inclusion. These organisations understand the business benefits behind equality and inclusion and, with their continued support, we can together work toward a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Written by Nick Duffy, featured in Pink News – https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/01/19/lloyd-banking-group-named-uks-most-lgbt-friendly-employer/

Asda and The Co-op are the only retailers to have been listed in Stonewall’s list of top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers.

The Top 100 Employers list – created by Stonewall, the UK’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charity and lobby group – is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace.

The two retailers made significant climbs on the Top 100 list, with Asda jumping from 83 in 2016 to 25 this year, and The Co-op climbing from 72 in 2016 to 31 this year.

Stonewall’s retail sector lead, Matt Moore, said it was “fantastic” to see Asda and Co-op on the Top 100 list again, improving and retaining firm positons for a consecutive year.

However, he highlighted the issue of how no other retailers were on the list at all.

“The sector in general continues to be underrepresented in the index, and we hope to see this change in the future,” he said.

“Until then, we hope to see both Asda and The Co-Operative continue to lead by example, demonstrating a true commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and helping their lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff to bring their whole selves to work.”

Asda’s senior vice president of people Hayley Tatum said diversity and inclusion was “right at the heart” of the grocery giant’s business.

“We want every colleague to let their personality shine through so they can come to work and be themselves,” Tatum said.

“We are proud to be included in Stonewall’s LGBT friendly employer list and to increase our ranking so significantly is an incredible achievement.

“However there is still more work to be done. Our LGBT steering group continues to play a vital role in driving forward our diversity and inclusion agenda, we are sharpening our approach to working with LGBT Pride events and we will continue to engage and support our colleagues in the local communities we serve.”

The Co-op’s director of executive talent and diversity Adrian Shooter attributed his company’s improvement on the Top 100 list to the internal Respect Network, the Diversity & Inclusion team,

‘As a co-operative we pride ourselves on the support we give to all our colleagues… and the collaborative efforts of our businesses working together to support the LGBT community,” he said.

Written by Elias Jahshan, featured in Retail Gazette – https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2017/01/asda-co-op-the-only-retailers-listed-on-top-lgbt-inclusive-list

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