International firm Pinsent Masons has been hailed as the most inclusive employer in the UK after topping the annual list compiled by LGBT charity Stonewall.
The equality campaigners said the law firm had provided specific training to ensure a welcoming environment for trans people, and could demonstrate a range of inclusive polices and practices for LGBT staff.
The firm has also been active in championing equality across the UK, including supporting the campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland and working with schools to build inclusive learning environments for young people.
Senior partner Richard Foley said: ‘Our ranking recognises that like many other organisations we are championing LGBT+ inclusion in everything that we do. Pinsent Masons has created an inclusive workplace that enables everyone to be themselves; from our recruitment processes through to our engagement with clients.
‘We have a responsibility to champion change in the wider community. Supporting initiatives such as the campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland play an important role in prompting progress on the equality issues that we believe must be addressed.’
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (2nd) and Baker McKenzie (10th) also make the top 10. Dentons, Travers Smith, Norton Rose Fulbright, Hogan Lovells, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, and Taylor Wessing appear in the top 50, with a further six firms featuring in the top 100.
MI5, Lloyds Banking Group and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were featured near the top of the list.
Pinsent Masons has been runner-up in the list for the past two years, and Stonewall said diversity and inclusion forms a ‘core part’ of its values and purpose. The firm has developed specific training for its HR department to remove barriers to employment for trans individuals and trains all employees to create a welcoming environment for trans colleagues, clients and visitors.
There are specialised development opportunities for LGBT women to help them overcome what Stonewall described as the ‘double glazed glass ceiling’, and an active LGBT and allies employee network group to offer support and mentoring.
In total, 445 employers applied to be included on the list this year – the largest number ever. Stonewall collected more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of the UK’s workplace culture and diversity.