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The Stonewall Top 100 List is created by lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity Stonewall. The Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements on LGBT equality in the workplace. For the first time, ThoughtWorks has been included in the Stonewall’s 2019 Top 100 Employers list, having jumped a significant 47 places since last year, and a full 215 places since participating in 2015. The progress is the result of a collective effort from ThoughtWorkers, community organisations and other allies across the globe.

I’m super-excited that ThoughtWorks has made the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list this year. We’re a relatively small company without the large HR and Marketing departments (and budgets!) of other companies, so it’s a great acknowledgement of the work that we have done — not just in drafting the submission to Stonewall — but in creating a safe environment where diversity thrives. ThoughtWorkers can feel free to be themselves at work and feel supported no matter what, without having to hide any part of what makes them who they are. Our leadership team actively drives diversity initiatives and acts as role models, helping us to have a supportive structure and policies in place. We also have a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Lead, whose exclusive job is to help drive our efforts and make sure we stick to our commitment around diversity.

The fact there are so few technology companies on the list makes me even prouder to work here. I’ve worked in the technology industry for over 25 years, and over that time it’s always been a struggle for under-represented groups — although the industry has changed for the better in recent years, thanks to initiatives by the likes of Stonewall.

More and more companies are realising that having a variety of people working for them, with different opinions and backgrounds, is a key contributor to their success, and that means doing more than just paying lip service to diversity initiatives. There is still lots to do — as we can see from the low number of technology companies on the Stonewall list — especially among large companies, where it can be more difficult to make your voice heard than in startups, for example. We will certainly not be taking it easy now that we’ve broken into the top 100, but looking for even more ways to support everyone to feel free to be themselves at work.