Financial Services

Sector OverviewFinancial Services - Mazars - logo

The financial services sector encompasses a broad range of organisations, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, consumer-finance companies, individual managers and even some government regulatory bodies. As the sector modernises, the available opportunities involve far more than just money.

The sector-wide LGBT network for banking, Interbank, is very active and works closely with Stonewall to understand trends in the industry and shares insights with their LGBT members and allies. More and more organisations in this sector are recognising the importance of proactive LGBT inclusion. Many are developing initiatives to engage allies, recognising that it’s everyone’s responsibility to be agents of change in the workplace.

Beyond LGBT workplace inclusion, many financial services organisations engage with Stonewall’s wider work, including supporting our school role models and youth programmes.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 58% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 60% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 54% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 86% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

Best sector for senior managers championing LGBT inclusion by speaking
at internal events
81% of organisations have formal programmes for supporting non-LGBT employees to become active allies

Financial Services section supported by Mazars

In Focus

Lindsay Pentelow, Partner, Tax, MazarsFinancial Services - Mazars - Lindsay Pentelow

What does your current job involve?

I’m a tax partner and currently lead the tax part of Mazars’ business in the UK. We are constantly trying to create more collaborative, creative and non-hierarchical ways of working. Team members being able to be themselves at work is pretty fundamental to that.

What’s it like being LGBT at Mazars?

I’ve sometimes carried around a nagging fear of hostility based on past experience, but in our business the only comments made to me have been supportive ones. We had an all-employee satisfaction survey which included comparing the numbers for LGBT and non-LGBT team members. It was the first page I turned to and the LGBT team members showed the higher satisfaction levels within the team. That was a nice moment.

Are you involved in the LGBT network or other LGBT inclusion work at Mazars?

Of course. It’s vital for making our business a completely safe space for LGBT people and for creating a safe space for difference more generally. I don’t see how we can be for the inclusion of our own community without being active advocates for the inclusion of others. If LGBT people are able to be out at work it helps people to be out about other issues too, such as mental health.


Financial Services - Mazars - Mather_Neil_small_Formal

Neil Mather, Partner, Restructuring Services, Mazars

How did you come to work in financial services?

After a Geography degree, I trained with a big accountancy firm. Now I’m a partner in the restructuring services team, advising boards, regulators and other stakeholders when companies face solvency issues.

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in financial services?

Most large financial services and professional services firms are open and inclusive, with visible senior role models and active LGBT groups. The sector also has several industry-wide LGBT organisations and there are plenty of successful LGBT people in senior positions. In most firms, being LGBT shouldn’t really be an issue.

What’s it like being LGBT at Mazars?

I’m very impressed at the effort Mazars puts in to make LGBT people feel welcome and respected. There are regular events, firm-wide updates on LGBT issues and the firm is committed to making sure LGBT people can contribute to their maximum by being themselves at work. I’m a member of the firm’s LGBT Champions’ committee, which works to educate everyone on issues that may concern LGBT team members and promotes inclusive policies. It’s a very visible sign of the firm’s commitment and its committee members range from young, recent joiners to senior partners.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in your sector?
Check out what the firms you’re interested in do to ensure LGBT inclusivity. Does it sound like a real commitment? Do they do anything that’s visible to make their LGBT staff feel valued? Are there LGBT people in senior positions?