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FCA’s LGBT pride makes it top employer

Gender neutral language, protection from harassment and intersectional events are helping the regulator become an inclusive employer.

FCA’s LGBT pride makes it top employer

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is no stranger to attending events up and down the country. But one event it may come as a surprise to hear it attended for the first time was Edinburgh Pride.

The FCA’s first sojourn to the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival comes as part of a number of initiatives the regulator has put in place to improve as a workplace for LGBT people.

These include changes to the FCA Employee Handbook to make the language gender neutral; increased protections on bullying and harassment, and on the rights for same sex parents; and its first cross-sectional event discussing BAME and LGBT+ issues.

Top 100

These initiatives meant the FCA was one of three financial services companies that made it onto this year’s Stonewall Top 100 employers list this year, out of 44 financial services firms enrolled onto the LGBT charity’s Diversity Champions programme.

Barclays, the FCA and Lloyds Banking Group ranked 28th, 69th and seventh respectively in this year’s listings, which, as part of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, assesses workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans staff.

Barclays and the FCA reentered the list this year, while Lloyds Banking Group dropped from fifth place the previous year.  

Sanjay Sood-Smith, executive director at Stonewall, said: ‘Stonewall’s Top 100 is the UK’s leading list of the best performing employers from across all sectors on how inclusive their workplaces are for LGBT people.

‘Organisations submit evidence against a clear set of criteria that is then rigorously assessed and scored by experts in Stonewall’s memberships programmes team, who know how to create inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.’

He said LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to support LGBT people in their organisations.

Stonewall research shows more than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden who they are at work for fear of discrimination. 

Last week a Trade Union Congress report revealed 68% of LGBT people had experienced harassment at work. Of those, 66% had not told their employer. 

‘Whether as senior leaders, managers or colleagues, we all have a part to play in making sure that our workplaces and communities are accepting and welcoming of all LGBT people, without exception,’ Sood-Smith added.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said: ‘We are proud to be part of Stonewall's top 100 LGBT friendly employers. This recognition sends a strong signal to industry, consumers and other external stakeholders about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.’

Stonewall is a UK LGBT charity and campaigner. Its Diversity Champions programme provides resources and support to companies to attract and retain LGBT talent.

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