Barclays and Vodafone among top global employers for LGBTQ inclusion


Banking organisation Barclays (pictured), law firm Pinsent Masons and telecommunications business Vodafone are among those recognised on the Top global employers 2019 list, compiled by LGBTQ awareness charity Stonewall.

The list, which recognises the best multinational employers for LGBTQ employees, is based on Stonewall’s Global workplace equality index, a benchmarking tool that helps employers create inclusive workplaces. The index measures an organisation’s performance against nine key criteria: policies and benefits, training, staff engagement, leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and understanding local context, global mobility and additional in-country activity. To feature on the Top global employers list, organisations must score above a predetermined threshold.

Other global organisations that feature in the 2019 list include professional services firm Accenture, oil and gas organisation BP, pharmaceutical business GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), bank HSBC and law firms Simmons and Simmons and Baker McKenzie.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive at Stonewall, said: “Every year, we celebrate the successes of those employers [that] have made a demonstrable impact towards [LGBTQ] inclusion. Those featured in our 2019 report have used innovative policies and initiatives to create change. They’ve also engaged with [LGBTQ] equality on both a local and global level. We are proud to highlight the great work they’ve done and we want other organisations to be inspired and take their lead.

“With the huge variety in circumstances for [LGBTQ] people globally, multinational employers need to step up and recognise the different challenges that different groups in [LGBTQ] communities throughout the world face. To make equality a reality, we must ensure that every part of the [LGBTQ] community, wherever they are, benefits from the advances we make. To this end, the 2019 Global workplace equality index specifically assessed bi inclusion for the first time.”

Stonewall also issued a number of separate awards for organisations that have excelled in particular areas of global LGBTQ inclusion. For example, Accenture won the Global LGBTQ network award and the Global trans inclusion award, while Vodafone earned the Global ally programme accolade. Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills was recognised with the Global community engagement award, while Freshfields received the Global senior champion award for 2019.

Colin Passmore, senior partner and senior ally at Simmons and Simmons, added: “I am pleased that the firm has once again been ranked as a top global employer for the fourth year in a row, recognising our continued dedication to promoting [LGBTQ] inclusion in all jurisdictions. Over the next year, we will continue to encourage equality for all, without exception.”

Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, chair, EMEA and chair of the global diversity and inclusion committee at Baker McKenzie, said: “As an organisation we place strong emphasis [on] ensuring that all of our people across the globe understand the importance of [LGBTQ] inclusion. Under the banner of ‘We Are Not Neutral’, we continue to work hard to make certain that regardless of where our staff are in the world, they are supported by our [LGBTQ] policies and encouraged to advocate, where possible, for [LGBTQ] equality.”