Are Businesses Really Flying the Flag for LGBT Inclusion?

August 18, 2015
LGBT Diversity Fund

Business can be a powerful force for good. Large corporations in particular can set standards around the world, spark conversations and pave the way for societal change.

Because of this, at OUTstanding, we are very interested in the extent to which large organisations openly promote diversity, especially with regard to their LGBT employees. To gauge this we took a closer look at the annual reports of those at the top, the FTSE 100 members, for mention of LGBT diversity.

the results were illuminating. Our review revealed that while 99% of the annual reports refer to diversity as a whole, 80% of these lacked any mention of non-discrimination policies for transgender employees. Given that transgendered people are one of the most discriminated against groups in society, this seems to be a glaring omission.

Nearly half (47%) failed to mention similar policies for gay, lesbian or bisexual employees. Of those that did outline a LGBT non-discrimination policy, just 14% made any detailed reference to their LGBT commitments within their reports.

It seems that LGBT inclusion does not register as a priority to be communicated for most FTSE 100 companies. Perfunctory mentions of LGBT inclusion, unqualified by specific LGBT-focused inclusive activity, could suggest that many view LGBT diversity as merely a compliance issue, and are failing to pursue greater inclusion as a priority.

However, the above figures do not seem to represent the experience I have had as CEO of OUTstanding. Leaders I have met, many from FTSE 100 companies, readily talk about LGBT support networks and policies they are initiating at work, and the positive effects they are already having on business performance. They talk about them from both a business case and a moral imperative.

Huffington Post | | Neil Bentley | 18th August 2015

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