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Creative and media brands ‘many years behind’ on LGBT inclusion with jarring absence from Stonewall list

PrideAm's MadMen Rainbow

UK advertising's LGBT+ network PrideAM has taken a swing at the creative and media industries for failing to have a single company feature on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index top 100 employers.

The list was created to showcase organisations that have done great work over the past year to help achieve acceptance without exception for all LGBT people. The top 10 companies are as follows: National Assembly for Wales, Pinsent Masons LLP, Gentoo, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lloyds Banking Group, Baker McKenzie, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Citi, Newcastle City Council and Victim Support.

PrideAM marked the lack of the creative industries' inclusion on the list as “shameful”. Lara Kingsbeer, a spokesperson for the body, said: “Despite the industry’s attempts to drive diversity it seems no progress has been made in proving that the creative workplace is an inclusive space for the LGBT+ community.”

The findings are at odds with how much the industry has been talking about diversity. Kingsbeer continued: “We recognise that some agencies have started to make efforts and are working with Stonewall, but the advertising sector has been too slow to respond to the LGBT+ community.

“We are certainly many years behind other professional services like law and accounting, and a long way behind the public sector. LGBT+ inclusion must be one important pillar in every agency’s broader diversity and inclusion strategy.”

Kingsbeer added a final warning: “With trust in advertising at an all-time low, we must make changes now. We certainly agree that diverse teams are much more likely to generate better creativity, quicker.”

The PrideAM network looked further into LGBT content in mainstream ads and comms in its outvertising paper here. A follow up is due March 2018.

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