On 3rd July 2017, Stonewall the gay, lesbian, trans and bi equality charity, announced its 2017 Top Global Employers list.
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, delivered a keynote speech and presented the awards at an event that was held on the evening of the same day of the announcement in London. The event was supported by Herbert Smith Freehills.
The Top Global Employers for 2017 named by Stonewall are given below in no particular order:
- Baker & McKenzie
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Simmons & Simmons
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Thomson Reuters
- BP plc
- Pinsent Masons
Stonewall’s list of Global Top Employers commemorates the pioneering endeavours of leading companies to promote equality for LGBT people and create inclusive workplaces, anywhere in the world.
The list is compiled from the recommendations to the GWEI (Global Workplace Equality Index). GWEI is a potent benchmarking tool that is utilised by employers to develop all-embracing workplaces across the various markets in which they function.
The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said that he is honoured to join Stonewall in acknowledging the efforts and achievements of these premier global businesses which have contributed so much in boosting equality for LGBT people everywhere in the world. He further spoke about the proud history that they have in the UK for championing LGBT rights and equality, and the important role that businesses and civil society have played in helping become a country that welcomes diversity.
Moreover, Boris Johnson said that by attracting the best talents from different parts of the world, businesses are hoping to improve business and economic growth. He believes that genuine benefits can be offered to the community at large if businesses and civil society work together in partnership.
The Chief Executive of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt, said that LGBT people face isolation, violence and discrimination across the world. In 72 countries, consensual same-sex activity still remains illegal and in 8 countries, it is punishable by death. Also, these people are not protected by workplace law from discrimination in more than half the world. This is what makes the work that these businesses are doing for the LGBT community all the more important and this is why they feel proud to be working alongside the Top Global Employers and the FCO. They make sure that these people are protected and made to feel welcome at their place of work.
GWEI is in its 6th year and it is reaching even more people than it ever has. This year alone, the participants employed more than 1.6 million people. The criteria in which the organisation are marked on by GWEI are training; employee policy; staff engagement; monitoring; leadership; community engagement; procurement and understanding global mobility, local context and in-country activity.
Stonewall also provides resources to assist multi-national companies who wish to have a deeper understanding of how to embed a unique and inclusive culture for their LGBT staff. The Stonewall Global Workplace Briefings is one such resource that aims to offer advice to employers on the creation of an equal workplace around the globe. It also outlines the socio-cultural and legal structure that LGBT people in different countries face.
At present, Briefings are available in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Belgium, France, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Kenya and Singapore.
Stonewall also published a Global Mobility Guide, which addresses the difficulties that LGBT people might come across when they are travelling to a foreign country for work.
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