Barclays, Herbert Smith Freehills and Vodafone recognised as top global employers for LGBT staff

Herbert Smith Freehills

Barclays, Herbert Smith Freehills (pictured), the Royal Bank of Scotland, Vodafone and Zurich Insurance Group are among the organisations recognised on the Top Global Employers 2018 list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality charity Stonewall.

The list, now in its seventh year, celebrates organisations that are striving to create inclusive workplaces and are advancing equality for LGBT employees across the world. The list is based on submissions to Stonewall’s global workplace equality index (GWEI), which is a benchmarking tool used by employers to measure their inclusiveness across the international markets in which they operate.

The GWEI marks employers on employee policies, training, staff engagement, leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and understanding local context, global mobility and additional in-country activity.

In addition to the Top Global Employers list, Stonewall also issues three special awards. Management consulting and professional services organisation Accenture is to receive the Global ally programme award and Global community engagement award, while law firm Baker McKenzie is to collect the Global LGBT network award. Vittorio Colao, group chief executive officer at Vodafone, will be recognised with the Global senior champion award.

The launch of the 2018 list will be celebrated at an event this evening (Thursday 19 July 2018), hosted by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. A keynote speech will be delivered by Judith Gough, ambassador of the United Kingdom in Ukraine; Ruth Hunt, chief executive officer at Stonewall, will present the awards.

In alphabetical order, the Top Global Employers for 2018 are:

  • Accenture
  • Allen and Overy
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Barclays
  • BP
  • Dentons
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • SAP
  • Simmons and Simmons
  • Vodafone
  • Zurich Insurance Group

Rebekah Gay, partner and co-chair of the Iris network at Herbert Smith Freehills, said: “This is great recognition of our efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture across our global network of offices. Diversity and inclusion sit at the heart of our organisation and our Beyond 2020 strategy, and we continue to strive to make this the optimum place to work and thrive both professionally and personally, attracting and retaining the most talented people and engaging with our clients through shared values and genuine relationships.”

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Ruth Hunt, chief executive officer at Stonewall, added: “LGBT people face discrimination, violence and isolation in every country in the world. In more than 70 countries, consensual same-sex activity remains illegal, and the death penalty exists in eight. Only six countries allow trans people to self-determine their gender.

“At a time when global LGBT rights are under threat of going backwards, we’re proud to work alongside our top global employers, who operate in some extremely difficult contexts, to ensure all people are protected and welcome at work, wherever they are.”