NI: Pinsent Masons leads top law firms for LGBT inclusion

NI: Pinsent Masons leads top law firms for LGBT inclusion

Sixteen law firms are among the UK’s top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers, according to Stonewall.

The LGBT charity’s annual list includes UK and international firms with offices in Belfast, such as Pinsent Masons, Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Eversheds Sutherland and Allen & Overy.

In the top 10, Pinsent Masons is listed at number two for a third year in a row, followed by Baker McKenzie at number six (up from seven).

These firms have also received special commendation as one of the UK’s best employers for trans and non-binary staff — marking the first time that Stonewall has rated employers on trans inclusivity.

Pinsent Masons has introduced gender identity training and supported trans charities like Mermaids, while Baker & McKenzie has implemented a ‘Transitioning at Work’ policy and partnered with Rachel Reese from Global Butterflies for a Trans 101 session.

Stonewall’s research shows that half of trans people (51 per cent) have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination or abuse and that one in eight trans employees (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the past year.

Paul Gillen, employment partner at Pinsent Masons in Belfast, said: “This outstanding ranking is a validation of the work we do across the firm to support LGBT colleagues. As well as firm-wide initiatives such as our Allies Programme, our approach includes local initiatives and engagement. In Northern Ireland we are proud of our partnership with the Rainbow Project in the development, launch and promotion of ‘Diversity Champions’. The programme sets out voluntary standards for NI organisations seeking to be inclusive and safe workplaces for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.”

The Top 100 Employers list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality. More than 400 employers were in contention for a spot on the list.

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