LGBT equality benchmark launched for finance firms

Firms including Fidelity International, Legal and General, BlackRock and M&G awarded 'gold standard' in first round

LGBT Great has launched its Inclusion Index Benchmarking Tracker (iiBT) for financial services companies and announced the names of six employers which it deems to have met the ‘gold standard’.

In a statement LGBT Great said the framework was “designed to empower financial services organisations to achieve their full LGBT+ diversity, equity, and inclusion potential.”

To attain the iiBT gold standard, financial services companies will need to score 80% or more across all ten diversity and inclusion indicators. LGBT Great announced Fidelity International, Legal and General, BlackRock, Lane Clark and Peacock, Janus Henderson Investors and M&G have already earned this standard.  

“Organisations that achieve gold, are required to clearly describe, evidence, and demonstrate the impact of LGBT+ diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies both internally and externally,” LGBT Great stated.

See also: – Nine ways to be effective allies to your LGBT+ co-workers

Indicators, include the company’s approach to executive sponsorship, talent, strategy, policy, planning, clients, and visibility.

Matt Cameron, LGBT Great global managing director said: “The launch of LGBT Great’s financial services standards is part of our mission to transform financial services into the most trusted industry of choice for LGBT+ talent, clients and investors.

“These standards recognise those organisations which are striving to influence equality in their organisations and externally. We are immensely proud of the first six member organisations to achieve the gold standard, and all others who have achieved silver and bronze. We look forward to role modelling their success and inspiring other financial services organisations to follow their lead in the months and years ahead.”  

Speaking at a webinar on LGBT History month, Alexis Goldfarb, senior consultant, diversity, equity and inclusion – vice president at Northern Trust Corporation, said her company has been using the benchmark and has found it beneficial it is focused on financial services specifically.

“There are various benchmarks which exist across you know, a whole host of diversity strands. But for me, I think it’s fantastic for us to have something which the industry deems best practice and so we can hold ourselves to account as an industry and create change together,” she said.

Demesha Hill, head of diversity and community relations, Janus Henderson said it is easy to get caught in up in recording data and measuring all kinds of things but added:

“[The benchmark] creates a guide to ensure that you’re measuring the right things, making sure that you’re making progress in the right areas. And… it allows you to understand where you have these opportunities for improvement, understand these best practices that are out there in our industry and determine which are the best practices that you might want to implement at your organisation.

“And so I find it a great tool to really kind of help with our overall strategy – just to make sure that we’re staying abreast of the changes that are happening because what was best practices two years ago, that’s no longer the place, you know, you need to continue to move forward and continue to make progress in this work,” Hill said.