FTSE 100 companies’ LGBT diversity failure

LGBT businessman

Recent literature review suggests lack of engagement with LGBT employees amongst FTSE 100 companies

The summer began with a massive boon for the LGBT rights movement, with the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States.

We still have a long way to go when it comes to LGBT diversity in the UK workplace, though, if a recent literature review of all of the FTSE 100’s 2014 Annual Reports by OUTstanding – a not-for-profit professional network for LGBT executives – is anything to go by. The report showed many of the UK’s largest listed companies failing to communicate their engagement with the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion effectively.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of companies whose reports were scrutinised failed to mention non-discrimination policies for gay, lesbian or bisexual employees, and of those who did make any allusion to them, just 14 per cent made any detailed reference to their LGBT commitments. While 99 per cent of the reports referred to diversity in general, 80 of them lacked any reference to non-discrimination policies for transgender employees.

“Lots of companies are failing to communicate their commitment to supporting LGBT employees at work, particularly to transgender people,” according to Dr Neil Bentley, OUTstanding’s CEO. “With so many businesses facing skills shortages, companies cannot afford to be complacent and should be using every opportunity to tell their story about inclusion to attract and retain the very best talent.”

Dr Bentley when on to point out that there are many enlightened CEOs who value diversity. “In fact, 62 per cent of our members say LGBT issues have been publically discussed by their CEO,” he said. “It’s vital that more businesses – including all those in the FTSE 100 – consider their attitude to LGBT inclusion as an asset, worth reporting.”

OUTstanding’s 48 corporate members include Barclays, BP, Google, EY, American Express, IBM, BT, Lloyds Banking Group, Veolia, Dow Chemicals, Standard Chartered, M&S, LinkedIn, Facebook and Bank of England.



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About author

Nick Scott

Nick Scott

A former editor-in-chief of The Rake and deputy editor of the Australian edition of GQ, Nick has had features published in titles including Esquire, The Guardian, Observer Sport Monthly and Rolling Stone Australia and is a contributing editor to Director magazine. He has interviewed celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Elle Macpherson, as well as business people including Sir Richard Branson, Charles Middleton and Nick Giles and Michael Hayman MBE.

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