Colleen Humphrey, Director of Workplace, Stonewall
Stonewall and our Diversity Champions employers believe that just being yourself can be an incredibly powerful thing. Bringing who you are into what you do – and the way you go about doing it – means you have a much better chance of succeeding, wherever you choose to take your talent. Why? Because people perform better when they can be themselves. People like you – and people like the gay professionals who share their stories about the impact of being themselves on their careers in our inspiring publication Role Models.
Starting Out presents hundreds of employers, all competing to attract the very best talent in the UK. All of them want gay people to develop careers in their workplaces. What makes these employers different – and why we think they’ll take your talent further – is their commitment to providing an inclusive environment where gay staff feel valued and are supported in their personal and professional lives. Whether you’re a graduate or an experienced professional, use this guide to help you decide which employers in your chosen field best deserve your talent.
We think your sexual orientation is absolutely part of who you are at home and at work. So does every single employer profiled here. Each of the profiled organisations is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. They benchmark how well they’re performing as a gay-friendly employer, seek Stonewall’s expertise in improving their workplace culture and focus on developing diverse talent.
You can find out more detailed information about Diversity Champions and the Workplace Equality Index. Our Diversity Champions won’t expect you to leave the real version of you at home – whether that’s at interview, at appointment or promotion.
Finding a new role in a highly competitive market means you have to stand out. By the time you get to interview stage, the recruiter already thinks you might have the technical skills, relevant qualifications or suitable experience for the role. The missing piece of the puzzle is bringing the best of who you are to the interview. Trying to minimise your difference as a gay person may seem like an intuitive way of deleting characteristics you think an employer won’t like. However, the energy you spend concentrating on this (faulty) strategy will leave your mind in knots, impede your ability to think quickly, inhibit your personality and make an already stressful situation even more difficult. Whatever happens, your talent won’t shine through at its brightest; you’ll feel constrained and less able to lead yourself to success in your career.
So, put all of you into who you are at work – including who you are as a gay person. It’s perhaps a viewpoint best summed up by one of Stonewall’s role models, Maeve Malley, a Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist: ‘If you invest yourself in something you care about you’ll probably end up being a role model for someone. If that doesn’t work for an employer, you know what? It’s probably not a great place for you to be.’
Make use of Starting Out to find that great place now!