FTSE 100 report reveals lack of commitment to LGBT diversity


A literature review of all of the FTSE 100’s 2014 Annual Reports reveals that the UK’s largest listed companies are failing to effectively communicate their engagement with the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion, most comprehensively overlooking transgender staff.

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. 

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.

Dr Neil Bentley, OUTstanding CEO, said: “Lots of companies are failing to communicate their commitment to supporting LGBT employees at work, particularly to transgender people. With so many businesses facing skills shortages, companies cannot afford to be complacent and should be using every opportunity to tell their story about inclusion to attract and retain the very best talent.

From my own experience, I know that there are many enlightened CEOs who value diversity. In fact, 62% of our members say LGBT issues have been publically discussed by their CEO. It’s vital that more businesses – including all those in the FTSE 100 – consider their attitude to LGBT inclusion as an asset, worth reporting.”

In a survey by OUTstanding of over 200 LGBT executives in its member companies, 62% of respondents say that LGBT issues at work have been publically discussed by their CEO. This makes it the second most discussed diversity issue after gender (reported by 78% of respondents). 

62% also say they have a visible LGBT role model in their executive leadership team, but only 39% report a role model in the boardroom.

However, the survey also shows that the size of the LGBT workforce is not widely measured as part of employee engagement surveys, with 47% of respondents saying their companies ask LGBT-related questions, compared with 82% reporting measurement on gender, 65% ethnicity and disability, 57%. 

Dr Bentley also said: “It is fantastic to hear that visible role models are helping to drive LGBT inclusion forwards – they are vital in helping create an environment where all LGBT employees can succeed.

Although in terms of measuring and reporting, clearly there is more to do to get to a thorough understanding of the size the LGBT workforce. After all, what gets measured, gets managed.”

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