Stonewall, Europe’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, today announced its 17 Top Global Employers for 2020. 

Accenture, Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, BP, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Dentons, Fidelity International, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, GSK, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, HSBC, NatWest, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons, Vodafone and Zurich Insurance Group have all been recognised for their outstanding commitment to LGBT employment equality globally. 

Now in its ninth year, the Global Workplace Equality Index (GWEI) is the definitive benchmark of workplace culture for LGBT staff in multinational organisations.

The GWEI was created by Stonewall as part of the charity’s work to push LGBT equality forward internationally. Organisations with offices around the world work in partnership with Stonewall, using the GWEI to make sure their LGBT staff can be themselves at work. 

Anti-LGBT legislation still exists in 70 countries, and 120 countries don’t have any laws protecting LGBT people from employment discrimination. 

The international environment is constantly changing, and this complex picture means multinational companies cannot simply apply a one-size-fits-all approach to LGBT inclusion. Companies must work within ever-changing parameters at the same time as ensuring that their LGBT employees feel included and supported across the board. 

The companies on this list represent those who have gone above and beyond to push for LGBT equality within their organisations and in wider society.  

Special awards have also been given to five of the Top Global Employers.  

·         Global LGBT Network Award: Allen & Overy’s A&Out Network 

·         Global Ally Programme Award: HSBC 

·         Global Community Engagement Award: Accenture 

·         Global Senior Champion Award: Igor Ostrowski, Dentons 

·         Global Trans Inclusion Award: Baker McKenzie 

Nancy Kelley

Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive of Stonewall: “The progress we’ve made towards LGBT equality has never felt more fragile, so it’s inspiring to see the work our Top Global Employers are doing to protect and support their LGBT staff in some extremely difficult contexts. We know that getting this right isn’t easy, but it is vital – especially because not all parts of the world are progressing at the same pace. 

“While some countries moved forward this year, like Gabon, who decriminalised same-sex relationships, others, like Poland and Hungary, have rowed back the rights of LGBT people. All of this has been happening while we are still living through a global pandemic that’s hitting some LGBT people harder than others. 

“That’s why it’s crucial for companies like our Top Global Employers to step up and make sure their LGBT staff and customers are looked after. Multinational companies have a powerful part to play in driving equality and progress in society. With their help, every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person can be accepted without exception, wherever they are in the world.’ 

Organisations participating in the GWEI are assessed on their: employee policies, training, staff engagement, leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and understanding local context, global mobility, and additional in-country activity. 

In addition to the Index, Stonewall also produces resources to help multinational companies better understand how to embed LGBT inclusion across their organisation. These resources include the Stonewall Global Workplace Briefings, which provide country-specific information about creating equal workplaces, as well as information from LGBT organisations about the legal and socio-cultural factors facing LGBT people in those countries. 

Briefings are available for the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, UK, and USA. 

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