Three of the Big Four firms feature in the top half of this year’s annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index of Top 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly employers, with EY singled out for special mention, but Deloitte does not make an appearance
EY has retained its ‘Star Performer’ title, in recognition of holding a top 10 place on the list at least three times in the preceding five years, while PwC is ranked at 11 and KPMG at 44, moving onto the list for the first time.
The index, which has been running for over a decade, helps organisations to assess their progress on driving LGBT equality in the workplace, including creating an inclusive culture, policy, staff engagement and career development. Over 400 employers submitted entries to the 2016 Index, the highest number since the index first opened.
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO said: ‘EY is a prime example of an organisation that embeds diversity and inclusion into everything it does – and is really getting it right. We have no doubt that it will continue to lead by example as a Stonewall star performer, in particular as a mentor to other organisations that enter our index.’
PwC has moved up 71 places from last year’s 82nd position. Over the past 12 months, GLEE@PwC, the firm’s inclusive business network for ‘gays, lesbian and everyone else’, hosted over 30 events, and attracted over 100 new members.
Andy Woodfield, GLEE@PwC partner sponsor, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement for PwC and everybody in the firm should be proud of their role in creating an open, inclusive environment for all staff.’
KPMG has also seen strong progress, this year rising over 100 places to number 44, which the firm said was affirmation of its move to be the first firm to publicly announce diversity targets in 2014, including targets on sexual orientation.
Philip Davidson, interim head of people at KPMG, said: ‘Our aim as a diverse employer is to recruit, retain and promote the best people from a wide talent pool and create a truly inclusive environment that brings out the best in everyone. The Stonewall index is an important acknowledgement of our commitment to our staff, our clients and the communities we work in.’
Commenting on the growing presence of accountancy firms on the Stonewall index Nick Parker, ICAEW vice president, said: ‘The accounting profession continues to recognise the contribution of LGBT people in the workplace. A big part of that recognition is building inclusive work environments that foster diversity.
‘It is incredibly important that the accounting profession does more to promote equality and diversity at work. And while it’s a big feat for Stonewall that so many organisations are now even taking part in the Index, we look for more progress next year. We would like to see more accountancy practices, particularly smaller firms, join the top performers and climb up the ranks.’
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