Stonewall top 100 employers list dominated by law firms

Sixteen law firms have made LGBT rights charity Stonewall’s top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers list for 2018, with three in the top 10.

Multi-national firm Pinsent Masons is the highest ranking law firm, achieving an impressive second place in the overall top 100. Baker McKenzie was ranked sixth (up from seventh in 2017), while Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is the final firm in this year’s top 10 in seventh position (up from eighth in 2017). 

This year’s rankings saw Stonewall mark employers specifically on trans-inclusivity in addition to lesbian, gay and bi inclusivity. The ranking of Pinsent Masons, Baker Mckenzie and BLP in the charity’s top 10 is therefore a reflection of all three firms’ numerous steps over the last year to improve workplace policies and practices for transgender employees.

Pinsent Masons now offers training on gender identity to staff, while it also supports the gender-diverse and transgender charity Mermaids. Baker McKenzie has implemented a ‘transitioning at work’ policy, while BLP has launched a similar policy, established gender-neutral facilities at its offices and removed gendered titles (eg, Mr, Mrs, Miss) from its HR and recruitment systems.

The remaining 13 firms to make this year’s Stonewall list were:

Representatives of the three firms in the top 10 gave some insight into how they make their workplaces inclusive. Kate Fergusson, head of responsible business at Pinsent Masons, said: “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.”

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 10 LGBT+ inclusive employer nationally. I am also delighted to see BLP being recognised as a top 10 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.”

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