International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) placed 2nd in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index (WEI), an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff entered by more than 400 employers. The firm features in the top ten most LGBT* inclusive places to work  for the third consecutive year, affirming its  commitment to diversity and inclusivity for all employees.

Improving on the 2017 and 2018 rankings, in which legacy firm Berwin Leighton Paisner placed 8th and 7th respectively, the firm’s year-on-year advancement in the annual Index demonstrates  the firm’s determination to address inequalities facing the LGBTQ* community. In addition to promoting an environment of inclusion and respect throughout the firm, efforts to support the legal industry and wider business community have included initiating a cross-firm mentoring programme to promote greater LGBTQ* inclusion in the legal industry and spearheading WAVE, a new junior professional network bringing together LGBTQ* individuals across the City of London and beyond.

This year’s Stonewall Top 100 was the largest ever with 445 employers entering. Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they have engaged with LGBT communities.

Segun Osuntokun, Managing Partner of BCLP’s London office, commented:

“We are delighted to have ranked at number 2 in Stonewall’s cross-sector UK Workplace Equality Index.  As the first global law firm with two female co-chairs, we are deeply committed to taking a strong, visible and authentic stance on equality and inclusion.  We have seen first-hand that supporting and promoting an environment of inclusivity and respect on the ground, every day, has a direct positive impact on our workforce, clients and our wider communities.   

This ranking reflects BCLP’s commitment to providing an environment where all our people feel included and able to be themselves, and the enthusiasm, hard work and commitment our LGBTQ* and Allies network.  We recognise that a great deal more still needs to be done to achieve equality for the LGBTQ* community and we are proud to stand alongside the other leading employers featured in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list to work towards helping achieve this.” 

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director, said:

“BCLP and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people. More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do. However, with organisations like BCLP displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”