'Trailblazer' Lloyds named UK's most inclusive employer by equality charity

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Banking giant Lloyds has been named the most inclusive employer in the country by an equality charity.

The firm won the accolade after launching a new volunteering programme, forming official partnerships with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities.

The group also supported awareness days and social media campaigns and flew bisexual and transgender flags at 35 sites.

Law firm Pinsent Masons came second, followed by US bankers JP Morgan, while intelligence agency MI5, which was top last year, was joint-fifth with the Welsh Assembly.

Stonewall said its workplace equality index attracted a record 439 submissions, with 92,000 staff taking part in a survey about workplace culture.

Antonio Horta Osorio, Group Chief Executive of Lloyds, said: 'Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting diversity in its workforce so that we can harness all of the qualities and talents of our colleagues to achieve our aim of helping Britain prosper."

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall said: "Lloyds Banking Group is a trailblazer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, and an example of a business that consistently ensures that all staff feel empowered and supported, no matter who they are.

"We've learned over the last year that nothing is certain - and this extends to human rights. Corporate organisations have the power to influence this and protect LGBT people, and so it is reassuring to see so many private firms represented in our top 10 and top 100."

Legal firms made up half of the top 10 and featured widely in the top 100 along with those in education, banking and finance and the government, but there were no media companies.

Others named include several police forces, universities, the National Crime Agency and the Army.

The House of Commons was placed 28th. Speaker John Bercow said: "It shows our commitment to providing a workplace where all our staff feel valued and supported.

"Receiving a coveted place in the Stonewall top 100 sends a strong message about who we are as an organisation."