Stonewall, Europe’s largest charity LGBTQIA+ rights, launched its Top 100 Employers List – recognising Grant Thornton UK for its work in supporting LGBTQIA+ colleagues to be the best versions of themselves at work and awarding the firm Gold Employer status.
Overall, Grant Thornton ranked 38th in the latest results, 26th in the private sector and 9th in the financial services sector. This recognition represents the firm’s work towards creating an inclusive environment over the last five years.
Some of the key initiatives that have contributed to the firm’s progress through the index include:
- Established an LGBTQIA+ working group to help drive change
- Conducted a full review of all policies – resulting in updates to existing policies, and the introduction of new ones to ensure they were inclusive of LGBTQIA+ employees and their families. These are continually amended for feedback.
- Inclusion and diversity training – introduced training for the whole firm about bullying and harassment (including examples of homophobia and transphobia), as well as targeted inclusion and diversity training for the recruitment team and the firm’s Inclusion Allies.
- Increased focus on data collection and monitoring – setting targets of increasing percentage of LGBTQIA+ employees and partners and reducing percentage of those who ‘prefer not to say’
- Role modelling and visibility – hosting webinars and panel events to spotlight visible role models and raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues
- Building a community – introduced regular network events for the firm’s internal community and allies
Grant Thornton UK partner and LGBTQIA+ convener, Bradley Chadwick, said: “What we have achieved with our Stonewall results is exceptional. We join several construction, legal, health, finance and education firms who have made the annual top list of LGBTQIA+ inclusive employers – but for me it means more than that. When we challenge ourselves throughout this process and compare our own, individual progress year on year, it’s phenomenal.
“The Stonewall Index provides a structured benchmark for our progress in making our firm a more inclusive place to work. However, the focus of our energy, resources and time are given to those areas within the framework which are both authentically Grant Thornton and which our LGBTQIA+ colleagues tell us are important to them.
“From the very simple changes we’ve collectively made, like sharing our pronouns in person, in our email signatures and on workplace systems – to the much bigger policy changes we’ve implemented concerning dress code, transitioning at work and adoption and surrogacy – our journey has had ground-breaking results.”
Stonewall CEO, Nancy Kelley, said: “It’s been fantastic to see all the work put in by Grant Thornton over the past year to create a workplace where LGBTQIA+ staff feel free to thrive as themselves. For many of us, most of our time is spent at work, so if we have to hide who we are it can take an enormous personal toll and hold us back from fulfilling our true potential. Creating environments where we can all feel comfortable makes our workplaces a safer, better and friendlier place for everyone and helps staff be proud of who they are.
“We’re incredibly proud to see so many new entrants from a range of sectors on this year’s list, who are committed to making LGBTQIA+ people’s lives better. That’s what inclusion is all about.”