Multinational management consultancy and tech firm Accenture has been named the top employer for gay people in Britain.
Accenture tops the 2013 Workplace Equality Index, compiled by gay rights organization Stonewall.
Gentoo, a housing company based in Sunderland, north east England comes second and the Co-operative, which provides a range of services from food retail to funerals, comes third.
There was also strong performance from MI5, the British secret service, who climbed into the Top 30 having debuted on the list at 62 in 2012. And London Ambulance NHS Trust climbs over 70 positions to 22.
Goldman Sachs wins the award for Employee Network Group of the Year and Nationwide is named Most Improved Employer. Police Chief Constable Alex Marshall from Hampshire Constabulary is named Individual Champion of the Year.
Full results of the 2013 Stonewall Top Employers list will be announced at a ceremony held tonight (16 January) in London hosted by Aviva.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: ‘Every employer in the Top 100 has performed impressively. These results are significant as it’s just 10 years since we won vital legal protections for gay people in the workplace.
‘Britain's 1.7 million gay staff and 150,000 gay university students can now confidently use the index to select a welcoming employer, or look further, safe in the knowledge that they are protected from discrimination.’
Olly Benzecry, senior managing director of Accenture in the UK and Ireland, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted to receive this recognition from Stonewall. It is a huge credit to our LGBT network. One reason Accenture is a successful business is because of the individuals and groups who make it a great place for people to work and perform at their best.’
The index is based on a questionnaire, independent audit and survey of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, with nearly 9,000 participants.