Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

London Pride on Regent's Street, 2017

The fifth annual PinkNews Awards will take place on 18 October, and PinkNews is delighted to unveil the shortlisted nominees in all awards categories.

The awards will take place on 18 October from 6.30pm at a central London location.

It will celebrate the contributions of politicians, businesses, campaigners and community groups to improving LGBT+ life in the UK and beyond.

The Business Equality award celebrates the contribution of businesses to improving LGBT+ life in the UK and abroad.

This may include through LGBT+ and ally networks which improve the experience of LGBT+ employees as well as through customer-facing initiatives and other activities.

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Use the link below to vote for your favourites


Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

Accenture aims to become the most inclusive and diverse organisation in the world by 2020. The organisation prides itself on creating and maintaining and LGBT inclusive workplace by creating an LGBT network back in 2004, and having ensured LGBT role models were “open and accessible” by 2007. Accenture has made a marked effort to build awareness of LGBT issues through its allies programme.

A two-day training course for LGBT Allies and clients across management is offered, as well as to external clients. Suppliers and clients are also invited to take part in in-house sexual orientation and gender orientation initiatives.

Mentoring of external companies on LGBT issues is also offered by Accenture, which has been named on the Stonewall workplace equality index, and thought leadership pieces have been published titled ‘Engaging the minority to create an LGBT inclusive workplace’. Accenture also advertises in the LGBT media, as well as publishing in the mainstream on LGBT issues.

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Allen & Overy

Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

A&O prides itself on embracing diversity of all kinds and creates an environment where people can be themselves. The company states that a diverse and inclusive environment is better for business and creates an environment from which everyone can benefit. Guiding principles for LGBT inclusion work include accountability, maximum impact, global and local, and open and honest. These guidelines recognise the need for an inclusive culture, the difference between different jurisdictions and an open discussion on inclusion.

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Senior Partner Wim Dejonghe has taken a key role in ensuring that all offices adhere to the firm’s global principles irrespective of location. The following statement has been circulated and appears permanently on the firm’s D&I page: “I want to be clear that, regardless of where you are based, at A&O, we want you to be yourself. Our LGBT colleagues should feel welcome; know that we value them; and be confident that they will not be excluded or held back in any way. Whether you identify as LGBT or not we all have a responsibility for making this happen.”

A&O’s LGBT network A&Out supports its members through a range of talks and events which also aim to raise awareness of certain issues, and to allow members to meet each other and bond. Training programmes attended by 75% of partners at A&O include unconscious bias training. Nondiscrimination policies extend to a supplier code of conduct and fair treatment is expected by all suppliers.

The firm has also undertaken pro bono and community investment work including advising the UK government on a bill pardoning gay and bi men for historic gay sex offences.


Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

The online retail and tech company aims to enable people from a range of diverse backgrounds reach their full potential. In addition the company also aims to deliver the best experience possibly for all customers. These principles feed into leadership principles such as ‘Think Big’.

Glamazon, Amazon’s LGBT network, is well-established and works to ensure employees feel safe, visible and are supported throughout their career. Glamazon works with leaders across the company.

Amazon also supports LGBT families explicitly such as providing fair leave for same-sex couples who decide to have a baby, including through adoption or a surrogate. In addition, Amazon has stringent anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies which protect LGBT people. The company is a member of various LGBT organisations to support its LGBT employees, and often puts on events supporting the LGBT community, including during Pride.

For customers, Amazon has a number of policies in place. An example is that it anonymises customer complaints in terms of gender or sexual orientation to ensure customers are dealt with without discrimination.

In other areas that support the LGBT community, Prime Video has invested heavily in the show Transparent, an Amazon Original series which has won several awards, and other exclusives such as Please Like Me, One Mississippi and I Love Dick.


Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

Aviva prides itself on taking inclusion and diversity seriously, putting people ahead of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age. The company aims to recognise individuals’ talents, experiences and perspectives.

Aviva aims to use these skills and talents to build a diverse and agile workforce and to hardwire inclusion into everything the company does, from leadership down. Aviva Pride is the company’s LGBT network, which is open to anyone who believes in the message of equality and acceptance.

A campaign for LGBT allies, Be Out, has also been launched to enable allies to be able to show their support for Aviva Pride. One show of support is rainbow laces offered to Be Out members.

Aviva Pride has also been involved in the Rainbow Laces campaign, which has encouraged thousands of people, fans and players, to wear rainbow laces in a show of solidarity with the LGBT community. The campaign reached millions in the UK and beyond.

Balfour Beatty

Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, provides the innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth in the UK, US and Far East. Its LGBT and Allies Affinity Network has been featured in the company newspaper, which is delivered to people’s home addresses in order to get the message of acceptance and equality to the widest base possible. The network also sends bi-monthly newsletters, which provides detailed information on current LGBT events like student pride and profiles role models from diverse background.

The client-focussed company founded the network four years ago and has integrated its affinity groups by using social media to ensure clients and employers can see the importance of LGBT issues to Balfour Beatty.

Balfour Beatty sees itself as a leader on LGBT issues in the construction sector and has been nominated for eight awards in the past two years. The LGBT and Allies Affinity Network extends to San Diego, California, Dallas and Florida. Members of the network are also involved in the steering committee and communications strategy.

Cicero Group


Cicero Group has created an open and inclusive environment and encourages open discussion of all diversity characteristics, as well as an open-door culture to match this. The company places an emphasis on ensuring that everyone feels comfortable enough to come to work as themselves and to flourish, irrespective of their background. The company’s chairman actively pushes the pro-LGBT agenda forward for all employees.

Inclusion is promoted and discussed at board level, there are visible role models, leadership write publications on diversity internally and in the wider media. Cicero Group host regular panel events, diversity and inclusion training, and has an open culture of day-to-day conversations to keep diversity and inclusion on top of the agenda.

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As an SME, Cicero works hard to provide external support programmes for employees. Cicero Group is the only communications agency to be a member of OUTstanding, and is active in external networks to provide support to LGBT staff including active participation in LGBT focused mentoring programmes, networking events and workshops.

Through clearly signalling that diversity is important to the company, Cicero Group provides a welcoming environment for LGBT clients, suppliers and customers. The company also self-selects away from client opportunities that are not welcoming of LGBT people. Cicero Group is committed to not working with anyone who does not fully support its diversity and inclusion agenda. Cicero Group also offers thought leadership to clients to help build a better public understanding around the particular challenges facing the LGBT community when planning their finances and retirement.

The organisation is openly committed to welcoming LGBT people into its ranks and to do business, and its chairman recently called out anti-LGBT investors in a column in the Financial Times.


Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

CMS has a wide range of policies in motion which protect all of its employees from discrimination. These policies include specific LGBT references and other protected characteristics.

The policies cover Equality and Diversity, Equal Opportunities, and a Dignity at Work Statement, which covers anti-harassment and bullying procedures. CMS made its Equality and Diversity Policy wide-ranging in order to allow for it to be interpreted as inclusively as possible.

CMS’ LGBT Network covers all eight UK officers and is open to LGBT employees and allies alike. Monthly drinks are held by the network for its members and supporters, alongside a range of other events. Previous events included an ‘LGBT rights’ panel event which CMS co-hosted with Pride in London during LGBT History month.

CMS is also a long-standing supporter of Pride in London and is the organisation’s legal sponsor. The company also works closely with PinkNews Award-winning charity Mermaids, which specialises in gender identity issues faced by young people.

In 2017 CMS ranked #31 in the Workplace Equality Index run by Stonewall.

Pinsent Masons

Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

Pinsent Masons has a zero-tolerance approach to anti-LGBT+ bullying and harassment and a comprehensive range of policy documents committing the firm to creating a workplace free from discrimination. A D&I strategy and action plan is Board-level agreed and ensures senior leadership accountability.

An annual diversity data collection links to HR systems and allows confidential and anonymous analysis on access to training courses, promotions and leavers, in order to identify any bias in processes. Senior and other role models are a strong focus at Pinsent Masons externally and internally.

A photo exhibition was commissioned during LGBT History Month 2017 which celebrated unsung LGBT+ heroes. It was displayed at the firm’s London office. Third-party confidential mentoring is also available to all employees as well as hotline/web-based support services. Guides on coming out, supporting LGBT friends and relatives and LGBT parenting are also available provided by UNUM.

Specific training on gender identity is offered at Pinsent Masons, and contributions to diversity network groups are included in the company’s firm’s capability frameworks.

Diversity and inclusion elements are included in employee induction and personal development frameworks. Pinsent MAasons has consciously developed expertise in specific market sectors to provide clients with the highest level of market intelligence. In collaboration with close business contacts like Arup, LendLease and Balfour Beatty, the firm launched Off Site, the first construction/ infrastructure LGBT network and has worked with close business contacts like Arup, LendLease and Balfour Beatty.

Events focussed on success in tech, no diversity, no innovation are organised by Pinsent Masons and contacts and clients are invited to attend LGBT speaker events and seminars, as well as LGBT Network Film Nights. Mentors are also provided to the DiversCity programme and Pinsent Masons has been ranked second in the 2017 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.


Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality

PwC has a number of ways in which they support LGBT partners and staff including the GLEE employee network, which boasts over a thousand members, a central Diversity and Inclusion team, as well as external memberships of LGBT organisations such as Stonewall and OUTstanding in the UK and Open for Business and Out Leadership globally.

The GLEE network hosts a wide variety of events that are open to all. PwC recognises the importance of role models, with 12 male and female senior leaders who are out and visible in the firm. Their ally programme, GLEE Ambassadors, has 54 senior leaders who are passionate about diversity and inclusion and visibly demonstrate their commitment with ‘GLEE Ambassador’ plaques outside their offices. Many staff also wear GLEE lanyards to show their support for the network.

All partners and staff undertake mandatory compliance training which includes a focus on diversity and inclusion. This is supplemented by a diversity awareness campaign and training called Open Mind, which has been completed by over 90% of partners and staff.

Workshops on unconscious bias in recruitment are provided to recruiters and staff are able to participate in an LGBT leadership development programme. A reverse mentoring programme including LGBT elements also operates where junior staff mentor senior leaders and through OUTstanding LGBT staff are offered the opportunity to be mentored by senior leaders from other organisations. Employee benefits at PwC cover same-sex partners, and there is a trans-inclusive policy for supporting staff through their transitions, as well as medical insurance coverage for gender transition surgery.

Click here for the form to vote for your favourites for the PinkNews Awards 2017

The PinkNews Awards is generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group

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