Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce its new ranking in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers List 2018, which has been published today. The firm has been ranked in 26th place, rising 32 places, in this definitive list showcasing the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.
Compiled from submissions to Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to create an inclusive workplace, this year's list attracted 434 submissions from employers across a variety of sectors. Stonewall also sought feedback directly from the entrants' employees and received over 92,000 anonymous responses to the employee survey, making it one of the largest employment surveys in Britain.
The firm's rise by 32 places this year is a landmark achievement showcasing the firm's strong, and long-standing, commitment in creating a truly LGBT+ inclusive work environment, where all its people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can be themselves and perform to their best ability.
In the course of last year Travers Smith developed and delivered a number of initiatives aimed at promoting LGBT+ inclusion at work and in the wider community. Highlights include:
Launching an innovative new LGBT+ mentoring programme in partnership with LGBT charity Just Like Us. The programme aims to give LGBT+ graduates the skills, confidence and support as they transition from university life to full time employment. In the first year, through a one-to-one mentoring programme, 25 mentors, selected by Travers Smith, worked with LGBT+ university students from across the country, giving them the skills and advice to guide them through a period of significant change and start their first job confident in being themselves.
Championing the development of more LGBT+ inclusive workplace policies, the firm addressed the trans equality in the workplace by reviewing its HR policies and staff benefits and ensuring they are trans-inclusive, introducing gender neutral toilets, and driving positive change for trans/non binary people (including a revised dress code).
Supporting a range of LGBT charities by providing significant pro bono legal advice. The firm's lawyers advised Stonewall on real estate matters relating to its office relocation, as well as equal pension rights for same sex partners. They also advised Series Q, the professional networking group for LGBT entrepreneurs, on corporate law issues and Just Like Us on charity law matters.
Additionally, in October 2017, our Partner and Head of Pensions Daniel Gerring was ranked at number 13 of 100 in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Executives List, presented by the Financial Times, becoming the highest ranked City lawyer on the list. Daniel, together with our CSR & Diversity Director Chris Edwards, leads our LGBT+ Group and is also a member of the Law Society's National LGBT Division.
Travers Smith's work on LGBT+ inclusion is part of its wider diversity and inclusion (D&I) programme, which is driven by the firm's partner-led D&I Board. Progress on the firm’s overall D&I Programme is reviewed by our Partnership Board and both our Senior and Managing Partners are actively involved with and committed to this work.
Partner Daniel Gerring said: "We are delighted that our work in creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace for LGBT+ people has again been recognised by Stonewall. Although much progress has been made in the business world, entering the workplace remains a daunting experience for LGBT+ people. Research indicates that a staggering 60 per cent go back into the closet when they start work. This is why Travers Smith is committed to creating a modern, inclusive workplace which actively encourages all our people to be themselves, confident in their sexual orientation and gender identity, as soon as they step through the doors to our office and to driving progress on greater LGBT+ inclusion in the wider community."
CSR & Diversity Director Chris Edwards commented: "I am proud to be part of a firm which demonstrates such a strong and genuine commitment to promoting greater LGBT+ inclusion. With a recent study indicating that the number of attacks on LGBT people in the UK has soared by nearly 80 per cent in the past four years, there is clearly much more to be done in supporting the LGBT+ community, and indeed other marginalised groups of people. We are committed to playing a leadership role, not only in the business world but also within wider society, and in driving positive change at organisational and individual levels."