Legal Sector Dominates LGBT Top 100 Employers List

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, has listed 16 legal firms in its Top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers list.

The top ten includes Pinsent Masons in second place (2 in 2017), Baker & McKenzie at number six (7 in 2017), and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) at number seven (8 in 2017).  Each of these legal firms has also received special commendation as one of Britain’s best employers for trans and non-binary staff.

Stonewall’s annual review has this year, for the first time ever, marked employers specifically on trans inclusivity, in addition to their work on lesbian, gay and bi inclusive policies.

Notable performances also come from CMS Cameron McKenna, which moves up five spots to 26 (31 in 2017), Travers Smith LLP, which climbs 32 positions to 26 (58 in 2017), and Slaughter and May, who rise 16 spots to 54 (70 in 2017).

Other entrants include Clifford Chance at number 11 (4 in 2017), Norton Rose Fulbright LLP at 19 (10 in 2017), Hogan Lovells places at 31 (17 in 2017), and Herbert Smith Freehills lands at 33 (24 in 2017).

This year sees four new firms enter the list, including: Taylor Wessing LLP (51), Kirkland & Ellis International LLP (73), Linklaters LLP (75), and Allen & Overy (91).

Rounding out the list are Dentons UKMEA LLP at 58 (17 in 2017) and Eversheds LLP at number 75 (69 in 2017).

Over the past year, Pinsent Masons, Baker & McKenzie, and BLP have all taken numerous steps to improve their workplace policies and practices for trans staff. Pinsent Masons’ work includes introducing training on gender identity and supporting charities like Mermaids. Baker & McKenzie implemented a ‘Transitioning at Work’ policy and partnered with Rachel Reese from Global Butterflies for a Trans 101 session. BLP brought in gender-neutral facilities, removed gendered titles (Mr, Mrs, Miss) from HR and recruitment systems and launched a ‘Transitioning in the Workplace’ policy.

Kate Fergusson, head of responsible business at Pinsent Masons, said: “At Pinsent Masons we’re so proud to again be the top performing law firm and second overall in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.  With a new focus in the Index this year on trans equality in the workplace, we’re also delighted to be featured in the inaugural listings of Top Trans Employers.

Over the last few years we’ve been working hard to make sure our firm promotes and encourages trans and non-binary gender equality and have taken steps such as rolling out training for HR and front of house staff, introducing an option for employees and clients to use the gender-neutral Mx title, as well as setting up a working group to consider changes we can make to our facilities and work spaces to be more inclusive of all gender identities. It’s something that will continue to be a focus for our LGBT and Allies network throughout 2018.”

Alex Chadwick, London Managing Partner at Baker McKenzie, said: “We are delighted to be included once again in Stonewall’s prestigious listing and thrilled to be ranked in 6th place this year; a record ranking for us. To be recognised for our ongoing support for the LGBT+ community in the workplace is a wonderful reflection of the continued dedication and great work of our people and the culture of Baker McKenzie. We believe that diversity within our firm makes us stronger and that all of our people deserve to be their authentic selves at work.”

Harry Small, Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Global LGBT+ Business Resource Group, said: “At Baker McKenzie we strongly believe that sexual orientation, gender identity and expression should form no barrier in the workplace, and we want all employees to feel they are fully supported. So, I am proud that today we are one of only eleven employers to be recognised by Stonewall as being trans inclusive. This index marks a big step in recognising that we all have a responsibility to create an environment which is inclusive for all and this means for the trans community alike.”

Daisy Reeves, Partner and LGBT Champion at BLP, said: “I am so proud to see BLP listed, once again, as a top ten LGBT+ inclusive employer nationally.  I am also delighted to see BLP being recognised as a top ten employer committed to trans inclusion.  Within the last 12 months we have worked very hard to ensure we are trans inclusive employer introducing gender-neutral toilet facilities, a transitioning in the workplace policy and gender identity monitoring.  Our placement in both these lists speaks volumes about the efforts of all our people, LGBT+ or otherwise, who work tirelessly to ensure we have a truly inclusive workplace at BLP.”

The Top 100 Employers list, created by 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.

More than 400 employers were in contention to get a coveted spot in this year’s Top 100 LGBT inclusive list. To mark the new trans-inclusive focus of the Top 100, Stonewall has also named Britain’s top trans-inclusive employers, who have gone above and beyond to ensure trans staff feel accepted.

(Source: Stonewall)

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