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Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index 2017

Category: Awards, Leeds Beckett University, Government communications headquarters, Sheffield city council, Stonewall workplace equality index

Image of Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2017

Here at Vercida.com, we commend the hard work of our members to promote inclusion and diversity within their organisations. Therefore, in light of Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index, we thought we would highlight the fantastic work our featured members are doing to support their LGBT colleagues.

Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index is a tool designed to help measure an organisations performance and progress in LGBT equality and inclusion. By using this framework, an organisation is actively demonstrating a commitment to LGBT equality – to staff, service users and customers. The Stonewall Index is now in its thirteenth year and received more participation than ever with over 430 employers joining and a record 91,248 responses to the staff feedback questionnaire. There was also an improvement in overall scores with all those listed having an average score of 74%.

It has been proven that people perform better when they can be themselves. Stonewall works with over 700 employers to demonstrate that creating an inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do, but is also crucial to their success. Through their Diversity Champions programme, Stonewall helps employers across all sectors and industries create workplaces where lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff can be themselves and, because of this, thrive.

Thirteen of our employers and suppliers were featured in the Top 100 Employers list 2017.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group topped this year’s Top 100 Employers list and was, therefore, named Employer of the Year 2017, for the Group’s hard work and dedication to LGBT concerns. Through the Group’s award-winning LGBT Staff Network Group, Rainbow, they have been able to implement professional development and promote visible role models and allies for LGBT employees. Lloyds Banking Group is now actively supporting the LGBT community, this year celebrating Bisexual Awareness Day and Transgender Day of Visibility through the creation of new training tools, social media campaigns, and by raising the bisexual flag and transgender flags at 35 of their key sites. They have also partnered with charities Mermaids UK, Opening Doors London and the Albert Kennedy Trust, having so far donated 1,000 hours of employee time to raising £30,000 through their Volunteering programme. To read more about Lloyd’s commitment to LGBT issues, please click here.


MI5 was ranked 5th in the overall Top 100, and first in the Top Defence Organisations list, for the work of their LGBT Network Group, which has also been highly commended. 2017 is the third year that MI5 has been in the top 10 of Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index, following on from their first place position in 2016. It is also the first year that all three of the Security and Intelligence Agencies have featured in the Top 100.


PwC was positioned at number 19 in this year’s Index for the successful work of their Highly Commended LGBT Network group, [email protected] The network, which is for Gays, Lesbians and Everyone Else, provides support and opportunities for business networking, knowledge sharing and personal and professional development through a series of events. These events include: a Speaker Series, where inspirational speakers talk about their professional and personal development to provide viable role models to LGBT staff; Speed Mentoring, a workshop aimed at facilitating business and career discussion with professionals; Leadership and Resilience, a partnership workshop with other key company LGBT networks aimed at building leadership skills, mental strength and resilience, such as the Genius Power Dreams workshop run by [email protected] and sponsored by Andy Woodfield; as well as Fundraising and Volunteering in the Community programmes. [email protected] are founding supporters and sponsors of Galeforce Capital, the first global initiative dedicated to supporting LGBT social enterprises. They raised over £22,000 for Stonewall’s anti-homophobic bullying campaign in 2012.


Along with MI5, the government intelligence service has been trying to revoke the misconception that the secret services are a ‘boys-only club’. Their ranking at 20 on the Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index highlights the success of their campaign. MI6 have actively shown support of the LGBT community by raising a rainbow flag over their headquarters in support of Gay Pride and most recently to mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.


DWF has been recognised for its commitment to developing its extensive diversity initiatives through its partner-led diversity steering group with the law firm being ranked 36 on Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index. The firm is dedicated to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of its people, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi or transsexual. Therefore, their LGBT network group, OutFront, provides a supportive and secure environment for LGBT employees and now also includes a confidential helpline for DWF employees who are thinking of coming out at work. This has been rewarded in the Top 100 Employer list, with DWF appearing for the second consecutive time and having shifted up 20 places to 36th.

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield City Council appear 65th on Stonewall’s Top 100 list as a commendation to the work of their Equality Hub Network, which includes an LGBT Hub Network. These network hubs work together, with the board being made up of members from all network groups, to decide upon diversity and inclusion issues as well as run themed events to bring the whole community together.


Eversheds also ranked in the 2017 Top 100 Employers, coming in at number 69. This is the 9th consecutive year that Eversheds has featured in the list. This year, they climbed 17 places showing their commitment to improving the experience of their LGBT staff and the success of their LGBT network. Rob Pitcher, Eversheds LGBT partner sponsor commented: “It is a great achievement to feature in the top 100 for eight consecutive years. At Eversheds, we embrace difference, accept people for who they are and promote an inclusive environment where people have a real opportunity to flourish and achieve their full potential. The leadership displayed by our three perspective LGBT employee network chairs, Kallun Willock, Lee O’Connell and Paul Pahiti has been key in our success. We are extremely proud to have moved up the rankings in the Index.”

EDF Energy

EDF Energy have once again ranked in the Top 100 coming in 74th place. They were first listed in 2015 as one of the UK’s best companies for LGBT people, coming in 75th place, which increased to 68th in 2016. Their active LGBT Supporters Network connects and supports all of our employees on LGBT matters, however they identify. It received a Highly Commended Award from Stonewall in 2015 and 2016 for its work on sexual orientation and gender identity. 


Another of the security service providers, GCHQ ranked in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index, attaining 75th place this year. GCHQ have proven their commitment to helping their staff fulfil their potential, through initiatives such as LGBT awareness workshops, increased engagement from senior management and sharing best practise externally. They have actively shown their support of the LGBT community by lighting up their Bude site to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and their Director Robert Hannigan gave an address at the Stonewall Workplace Conference.

Reed Smith

Reed Smith was also ranked 75th with GCHQ for its work to raise awareness of LGBT issues. Reed Smith’s LGBT network, PRISM, is a visible champion for inclusion, diversity and LGBT engagement within and on behalf of the firm. Along with partnering on events with LGBT support and networking groups, Reed Smith and PRISM host an annual summer party with clients to champion the need to promote an inclusive environment for LGBT employees.


HSBC ranked 87th on the Top 100 Employer list for their support of LGBT persons within their organisation. Their Pride network encourages an inclusive environment through Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender engagement in the workplace. Their European CEO António Simões, who has been the head of the UK bank since 2012, is one of the most senior openly gay businessmen in the UK, creating an inclusive environment which is supported by a strong LGBT role model.

Nottingham City Homes

Nottingham City Homes achieved 89th place in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for their commitment to supporting the LGBT community. Their support of LGBT people is not solely for their employees but extends into the community they serve. To achieve their status as Stonewall Diversity Champions, they trained their staff in such a way as to create awareness and understanding of LGBT issues, which included the creation of employee profiles and LGBT Champions. They are also supported from a higher level with one of their Directors also being a LGBT Champion, creating a positive role model for the scheme. They continue to be major supporters of Nottinghamshire Pride.

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University ranked 95 on Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index. Leeds Beckett has been a Stonewall Diversity Champion since 2009 and its Rainbow Rose Forum regularly hosts events and raises awareness across the University to provide a safe and supportive network encouraging all staff and students to be themselves. In 2015 the Rainbow Rose Forum received Stonewall’s Highly Commended Network Group award.

Barclays bank was once again a Star Performer in this year’s Index. Star Performers are not ranked and instead work with Stonewall on pioneering initiatives that will define future best practice. From launching global campaigns to revolutionising service delivery, the eight Star Performers will share their expertise and pave the way for other organisations to follow. Each Star Performer actively mentors another organisation that’s working to create a workplace culture that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Through regular contact, the two organisations work together to develop strategies that will help transform the workplace culture of the mentee. Barclays have been trying to create inclusive environments in India by sharing effective strategies with their global networks.

Congratulations to all those listed on Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list, 2017.

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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