The annual winners of Ireland’s Workplace Equality Index Awards were announced at a ceremony yesterday in Dublin.
The index, which was launched for the first time last year, is coordinated by LGBT advocacy group GLEN. It produces a top ten of employers with regards to policies and procedures towards LGBT staff and customers.
Last year’s inaugural Index was topped by professional services group EY. This year’s Index has been topped by Accenture, with EY taking second place.
The full top ten is as follows:
- Accenture– Employer of the Year
- Deutsche Bank
- Trinity College Dublin
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Commenting on the placing, Michelle Cullen, Managing Director at Accenture, said in a statement, ‘At Accenture, we are committed to creating an environment where our people can simply be themselves at work, where all of our people can feel welcome, supported, rewarded, and inspired.
‘Building an inclusive culture starts with a vision, and is achieved through many small acts, and through celebrating all of our people irrespective of differences.
‘We are very proud to receive an award for diversity; but we are more proud of our people, and our diverse role models.’
Kieran Rose, GLEN Co-Chair said, ‘We are delighted to recognize the companies and executives who are leading the way in making Irish workplaces fully inclusive of LGBT people. These organizations and leaders are playing an integral role in creating a business culture in Ireland that values the skills, ideas and creativity that LGBT people bring to the workplace.’
Awards winners were also announced in the following categories:
- Senior Leader of the Year: Catherine Vaughan, Global Compliance Leader, EY
- LGBT Role Model of the Year: Dena Y. Lawrence, Business Evangelist, Microsoft
- Ally of the Year: Alice Tolan, Senior Strategic Account Manager, eir
- LGBT Employee Network of the Year: [email protected], LinkedIn
- Public Sector Employer of the Year Award: Trinity College Dublin
- SME of the Year: Enterprise Rent-a-Car
The Republic of Ireland (population 5million) offers legal equality to LGBT citizens: last year it became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality laws following a public referendum on the issue. This is in contrast to Northern Ireland, which remains the only part of the UK to not allow same-sex marriage.
It’s also proved a welcoming environment for many multi-national corporations because of its favorable, if not contentious, tax laws. Last month the European Commission ruled that the Irish Government’s corporate tax system had allowed tech firm Apple to avoid paying an estimated €13billion (€14.5billion) in taxes.
The Commission demanded Apple repay the taxes – a decision the Irish Government is appealing. Some commentators have speculated this is because the government fears the ruling may dissuade future foreign investment.