L loyds Banking Group has been named the most inclusive employer in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) charity Stonewall in its Top 100 Employers list for 2017.

The banking firm, which came second in the 2016 list, launched a new colleague volunteering programme, forming official partnerships with LGBT charities. This includes trans youth charity Mermaids, elder LGBT organisation Opening Doors London and the Albert Kennedy Trust, for homeless LGBT youth, volunteering over 1,000 hours and raising £30,000 for them throughout the year.

They’ve also supported Bi Awareness Day and Transgender Day of Visibility, with new training tools, social media campaigns, and by flying the bisexual flag and transgender flags at 35 of their key sites.

Law firm Pinsent Masons came second (up from fifth in 2016), followed by bank J.P. Morgan (41 in 2016).

The Top 100 Employers list, created by lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity Stonewall, 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.

This year saw 439 organisations take part in the Index, the highest number in its 12-year history. Each participant must demonstrate their expertise in 10 distinct areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, career development, training, and community engagement.

More than 92,000 staff from across these organisations also took part in an anonymous survey about their employers’ attitudes towards workplace culture, diversity, and inclusion, making it one of the largest national employment surveys in Britain.  This is an enormous increase from approximately 60,000 respondents in 2016.


Survey responses

Responses to this survey reveal that:

  • One in eight LGB people would not feel comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation to any managers or senior colleagues
  • One in five trans employees wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing their gender identity to any colleagues
  • Almost half (43 per cent) of trans employees wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing their gender identity to any customers, clients, or service users
  • Just 23 per cent of bi staff see bi role models at work, compared to 32 per cent of trans role models (according to trans respondents), 53 per cent of lesbian role models (according to lesbian respondents) and 63 per cent of gay male role models (according to gay male respondents)

António Horta Osório, Group Chief Executive, Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘We are honoured to be recognised by Stonewall as the leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting diversity in its workforce so that we can harness all of the qualities and talents of our colleagues to achieve our aim of helping Britain prosper.’

Karin Cook, Executive Sponsor for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity – ‘We are delighted to be recognised as the leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Stonewall Top 100 list.  As part of our ongoing ambition to help Britain prosper, we are immensely proud to receive this accolade which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to diversity in our workforce by providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.’

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘Lloyds Banking Group is a trailblazer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, and an example of a business that consistently ensures that all staff feel empowered and supported, no matter who they are.

‘We’ve learned over the last year that nothing is certain – and this extends to human rights. Corporate organisations have the power to influence this and protect LGBT people, and so it is reassuring to see so many private firms represented in our Top 10 and Top 100.

‘I’d like to thank all of those organisations that took part in the Index, for each showing a real commitment to LGBT inclusion. These organisations understand the business benefits behind equality and inclusion and, with their continued support, we can together work toward a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.’

Organisations from the legal sector dominate the Top 10 on the Index, making up half of it, and across the Top 100, legal, education, government and banking and finance are the most featured sectors.

There are no media companies in the Top 100 Employers list, nor firms from the travel or construction sectors, and technology, retail and leisure and arts are all underrepresented.

Outside of London, the North West and East Midlands have the most organisations featured in this year’s Index (nine each).

Top performing organisations

The top performing organisations in each sector are:

  • Defence and Security: MI5 (5)
  • Banking and Finance: Lloyds Banking Group
  • Education: Cardiff University (23)
  • Emergency Services: Cheshire Fire & Rescue (8)
  • Energy: BP (51)
  • Government: National Assembly for Wales (5)
  • Health and Social Care: St Andrew’s Healthcare (43)
  • Housing: Tower Hamlets Homes (12)
  • Insurance: Aviva (39)
  • Legal: Pinsent Masons (2)
  • Leisure and Arts: Tate (89)
  • Local Government: Leicestershire County Council (36)
  • Professional Services: KPMG LLP (10)
  • Retail: Asda (25)
  • Technology: Fujitsu (48)
  • Third Sector: Victim Support Cymru (20)


Star Performers

Eight organisations that have ‘graduated’ the Workplace Equality Index hold Star Performer status. These are organisations that have consistently exceled and gone above and beyond in demonstrating their commitment to LGBT inclusion at work.

  • Accenture
  • Barclays
  • EY
  • Gentoo
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Home Office
  • Simmons & Simmons
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Workplace Equality Index (WEI) Awards 2017

Stonewall has also chosen its 2017 WEI Award winners for their contribution to progressing equality within their organisations.

  • Senior Champion of the Year* was awarded to Sussex Police’s Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp
  • Ally of the Year* went to Maziar Jamnejad, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Role Model of the Year* was awarded to Jenny Fallover, Delivery Programme Manager at Thomson Reuters

LGBT employee Network Group of the Year was given to the University of Greenwich’s LGBT+ Staff Network


Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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