LONDON – Allen & Overy has been named one of the most inclusive employers in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall in its Top 100 Employers list for 2019. A&O has placed 37th on this year’s list.
This year’s Top 100 received a record number of submissions with 445 employers entering, demonstrating their commitment to LGBT workplace inclusion.
As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture and diversity. An overwhelming 93 per cent of non-LGBT employees who responded to the survey say they understand why their employer is committed to LGBT equality.
Wim Dejonghe, senior partner of Allen & Overy, comments: “LGBT+ inclusion has been a focus of ours for some time and our ranking this year is testament to the dedication of our people in keeping it at the top of the agenda and maintaining progress. In the last year this has included a focus on trans matters in particular, in addition to our existing LGBT+ initiatives, working to reinforce our supportive and inclusive environment for all our trans and non-binary colleagues. We are really proud of our work in this area and are committed to building on our successes to date in the coming year and beyond.”
Last year, Stonewall released research that revealed more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity.
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Allen & Overy and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people. More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do. However, with organisations like A&O displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”
Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.
Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.
Picture Caption: A&O staff attending the ‘Out on the Roof’ summer networking event last year. The annual event, held during Pride Week, sees some of Belfast’s biggest businesses team up to celebrate workplace diversity and raise funds for The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s foremost charity for members of the LGBT community.