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Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust UK's most gay-friendly employer

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Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has been named the most LGB-friendly employer on Stonewall’s annual 100 Top Employers list for lesbian, gay and bisexual workers

The Trust has improved vastly since 2008, when it was placed 169th in the list.  

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust head of equality and diversity Catherine Conchar told HR magazine the Trust’s top ranking “shows that the public sector can do it”. “It’s not about money but being creative and engaging people,” she added. 

Tower Hamlets Homes was placed second and Lloyds Banking Group third. The top 10 included National Assembly of Wales, St Mungo’s Broadway and MI5. Baker & McKenzie, who ranked sixth, reached the highest position a law firm has ever had on the list. 

The list was compiled from 396 submissions – the highest number since the index started, with 15 different industries represented. They are matched against a 10-point criteria that includes: employee policy, training, employee network group, all-staff engagement, career development, line managers, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work. 

The ranking also highlights star performers who have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to creating inclusive workplaces. The star performers are: Accenture, Barclays, EY, Gentoo, Goldman Sachs, the Home Office, IBM and Simmons & Simmons.  

Stonewall commented: “In recognition of their unwavering and consistent efforts to create workplaces where lesbian, gay and bisexual staff can bring their whole selves to work, they have graduated to star performer status.” These companies are not ranked but work with Stonewall on pioneering initiatives that will define best practice.

An integrated business plan 

Conchar urged companies who want to become more LGB-friendly to “learn from others on the index”.  

She said: “It’s all about sharing information. If you want to learn how to become more LGB-friendly speak to the experts themselves – your staff.” 

The Trust promotes LGBT engagement through many different initiatives and what Conchar described as “an integrated business plan”.  

From the first day of training employees are given diversity training as part of their induction. It is presented along with the Trust's vision and values and what it expects from its employees. “It shows how serious we are about realising people are more than their sexuality,” Conchar said.  

Tell them how it is 

Law firm Baker & McKenzie was ranked sixth, a record placing for a law firm.  

Harry Small, London partner and chair of the firm's global LGBT initiative, said: “As well as it being the right thing to do, being LGBT-friendly provides a wider talent pool. People are going to want to work for a company that is gay-friendly rather than one that isn’t, whatever their sexual preference.” 

Small said gay-friendly policies are “a cultural statement. We say 'we support gay rights, get over it'.” 

He added: “Make sure that you’re not just shouting about it from the top. Make sure you are hearing the general concern from the ground up.” 

Baker & McKenzie’s LGBT networks span the whole organisation, from people in junior positions up to the boardroom, helping to raise awareness and shake up the culture, said Small.  

Make it personal 

The National Assembly for Wales who placed 4th has published advice for employees whose relatives or friends have come out as homosexual. This assistance helps the employee in both their working life and personal relationships outside the workplace.

It provides case studies, which members of the network have said “brings a reality” to the highly personal issue. 

The National Assembly for Wales interim director of commission services Craig Stephenson said: “The personal guidance adds value. It helps the LGB individual and our employee. If they aren’t worrying they’ll be working.”  

He added: “One person told me it took him three years to come out at his old work, but only three weeks here. He said it was nice to be the new guy not the new gay. That’s something I’m really proud of.”

Click here to see Stonewall's full list of the top 100 LGB-friendly employers