Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society has entered the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index – the annual Top 100 list that measures employers’ progress towards creating an inclusive workplace.
The society is also recognised as the most improved employer by Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity.
The equality index recognises the work of Nationwide’s employee-led LGBT network which has engaged in a range of activity since being formally established in 2011.
Chaired, run and managed by employees with support from the board, the group is inclusive and open to all employees with an interest in LGBT issues, and regularly provides both personal and professional advice for employees.
It has an intranet site with the opportunity for daily dialogue; holds drop-in sessions, issues internal communications and updates the business.
Last year, with guidance from executive sponsor Chris Rhodes, the group also:
• Promoted and marketed Nationwide products at the Brighton Gay Wedding Show
• Worked with the business to develop the use of same sex couples in marketing material
• Ensured all mortgage and wedding related marketing material includes same sex civil as well as heterosexual partnerships
Human Resources Director Keith Astill said: “For Nationwide, recognising and celebrating individuality and diversity within our workplace not only makes it a great place to work, but also makes sound business sense.
“As well as helping us to attract, recruit and retain talented individuals, our commitment to diversity also applies to our customers, ensuring our products and services are inclusive and that, through our marketing, we continue to diminish any perceived barriers in the many communities we serve.
“We are therefore particularly proud to receive recognition for our efforts toward creating a supportive workplace for our lesbian, gay and bisexual employees. The achievement has, in no small measure, been buoyed by the efforts of our thriving and effective LGBT network, supported by board level sponsorship, and we continue to work in partnership to ensure we make a difference.”
Nationwide has previously achieved Gold status and a top 10 place in both the Opportunity Now and Race for Opportunity benchmarks – the gender and race campaigns run by Business in the Community, which highlight the best performing organisations in terms of progressing staff from ethnic minorities or promoting gender equality. Nationwide was one of only two financial organisations to appear in both of the top 10 lists.