Over a third of FTSE 100 companies made no reference to LGBT+ diversity issues in their latest annual report.
Research found that 35 per cent of companies make no mention of the issue. This is according to INvolve, a membership organisation which aims to create diversity and inclusion, who conducted an analysis of the 2018 annual reports of FTSE 100 companies.
However, the amount of FTSE 100 companies who do include references to LGBT+ in their annual reports have increased from 53 per cent in 2014 to 65 per cent in 2018.
It also showed that 17 per cent of companies who changed their Twitter logo to support Pride month in June did not mention LGBT+ in their annual reports.
INvolve and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) joint research also proved that companies with diversity policies are 54 per cent more likely to financially outperform the industry average compared to companies who are not as diverse.
Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and chief executive of Involve, said:
Annual reports are of huge importance for FTSE 100 companies as it is their chance to highlight the key issues and initiatives that they are focusing on.To see that LGBT+ diversity and inclusion is not just celebrated during Pride but is an increasing part of companies’ annual reports is a great step forward.
He added: “Yet this research also highlights the other 35 per cent of FTSE 100 companies who are not being loud and proud about LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in their annual reports.
Pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), banking group Barclays and publishing group Pearson were all praised in the report to be making strong moves towards LGBT+ diversity.
In 2018, GSK pledged support for the United Nations LGBTI global business standards, while its internal LGBT+ group was recognized as ‘Employee Network Group of the Year’.
In the same year, Pearson updated all of its school textbooks to be LGBT+ inclusive and Barclays sponsored and took part in over 25 Pride celebrations across the UK.
Dr Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, said:
The increase in the number of FTSE companies reporting on LGBT+ inclusion at work is encouraging and suggests more organisations are recognising the importance of taking action. However, this research suggests there is still a long way to go until it’s the norm. It’s vital that organisations understand that LGBT inclusion isn’t just about branding during Pride, it’s about sustained action for inclusion throughout the year.
Too often annual reports are ‘boilerplate’ in nature and don’t describe anything meaningful to the reader – even though stakeholders use them to measure progress. As well as reporting data and showing a commitment to LGBT inclusion, annual reports need to include a clear description of what success looks like, what barriers still remain and how they will be overcome.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.