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The first Ireland Workplace Equality Index reveals country’s top employers

The first Ireland Workplace Equality Index reveals country’s top employers

Awards host Miriam O’Callaghan from the RTE TV station with Catherine Vaughan from EY, surrounded by other winners in the GLEN Workplace Equality Index ceremony

Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) yesterday held a ceremony in Dublin to announce the top ranked companies in the country’s first Workplace Equality Index.

GLEN announced the launch of the Index back in February, when it invited companies to make submissions for consideration.

Yesterday it announced that professional services company EY was the winner of the inaugural ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT People’, ranking at number one on LGBT Workplace Equality Index.

Commenting on the award, Catherine Vaughan, Global Compliance Leader at EY said in a statement, ‘We are delighted to have won the Employer of the Year award. We see this as an opportunity to benchmark ourselves and reflect on all that we’ve learned to date.

‘We will take this win as a platform from which to continue to improve, including looking at the other companies in the workplace equality index to learn from their good practices.’

EY, which employs over 200,000 staff in offices in 150 countries around the world, has a strong track record when it comes to LGBT diversity and inclusion.

It was ranked amongst the top 20 employers in this year’s Australia Workplace Equality Index and is regarded as one of UK LGBT advocacy group Stonewall’s Star Performers after consistently being ranked in the top ten of it’s UK workplace index. In the US, it scored the top ranking of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index.

For this inaugural year of the Ireland Workplace Equality Index, just five companies were ranked. They are as follows:

  1. EY – Employer of the Year
  2. IBM
  3. Accenture
  4. Deutsche Bank
  5. Microsoft

A spokesperson for GLEN told Gay Star Business that a full report with more details about this year’s Index will be issued in November.

‘We are delighted to recognize the companies and executives who are leading the way in making Irish workplaces fully inclusive of LGBT people,’ said Kieran Rose, GLEN Co-Chair, in a statement.

‘These companies and leaders are showing the real value that being an LGBT inclusive organization brings to Irish workplaces and businesses. They 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.

‘We also want to commend all the organizations that participated in this Index – their decision to participate is a significant and critical first step. For these organizations, the Workplace Equality Index is a very clear roadmap to drive and deliver on their diversity and inclusion goals.’

In addition to the Index rankings, the ceremony also honored individuals who have played a part in advancing LGBTI rights in the country.

Leadership awards were given to the following:

  • Senior Leader of the Year: Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • LGBT Inclusion Champion of the Year: Catherine Vaughan, Global Compliance Leader, EY
  • Ally of the Year: Mike Mc Kerr, Country Managing Partner, EY Ireland
  • LGBT Employee Network of the Year: Unity, EY
  • Special Recognition Award: Trinity College Dublin, for their work on Trans inclusion

‘It means a lot for me,’ Margot Slattery told Gay Star Business, ‘as I have had a journey on being an out person in the workplace, this award validates the decision to come out and be open and be myself, I have felt so supported by Sodexo and my colleagues and family and I feel this is coming full circle.’

Ireland made headlines around the world earlier this year when its people voted in a referendum to amend the country’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage.

The business world played a part in the campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote, with companies such as Twitter and Silicon Republic taking part in events to promote marriage equality, alongside Ireland Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.