Charles Wild, International Development Director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, has been recognised by Stonewall for exceptional work over the last year to advance LGBT+ workplace equality.
As LGBT+ Network Convenor Charles has advocated internally for LGBT+ communities, particularly to promote more bi+ and trans* inclusion. They have led policy reviews, drafted a transitioning at work policy and played an active role in the development of an ‘Inclusion Allies’ programme.
Their trailblazing work has involved setting up an LGBT+ reverse mentoring scheme and leading Grant Thornton’s first celebration of Bi+ Visibility Day. They’ve also coached LGBT+ colleagues and their managers on issues affecting LGBT+ people, including policies, dress code, coming out, international mobility and dealing with anti-LGBT+ behaviour.
They stepped up as a visible role model by writing a Mental Health Awareness Week blog discussing their non-binary pansexual identity, which went out to all the firm’s people. Finally, outside the office Charles has acted as an ambassador for the firm, speaking at diversity and inclusion events and championing bi+ and non-binary inclusion in the wider community.
“I am honoured to receive Stonewall’s Bi Role Model of the Year Award. Growing up, I never once met anyone who was openly gay or lesbian, let alone bisexual. Until I was 18, there was no one I felt safe talking to about my sexuality – whatsoever.
“Research by Stonewall, published in 2018, found that almost two in five bi people (38%) aren’t out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation. This includes half of bi men (49%), followed by a third of bi women (34%), compared to seven percent of gay men and four percent of lesbians. Visible role models provide an important mechanism, especially for younger people, fostering resilience, promoting healthy and adaptive behaviour, transmitting positive values and beliefs and generating a positive sense of self-worth and future orientation.”
Dave Dunckley, Grant Thornton UK LLP CEO, says:
“I would like to thank Charles for the energy and commitment they have brought to our firm; their efforts to increase our inclusivity have made a significant difference to not just our LGBT+ colleagues, but to our entire firm. Charles exemplars our work to be inclusive each and every day whereby we value and embrace difference. I am delighted for Charles that their efforts have been recognised with such a prestigious award.”
Grant Thornton has taken some big steps in the last 18 months to progress the LGBT+ inclusion agenda. These improvements have been recognised in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equity Index, the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. This year, Grant Thornton was ranked 287 out of 503 – a jump of 137 places from last year. Going forward the firm will be working closely with Stonewall to identify areas where it can improve and formulate an action plan.