Stonewall has announced that membership of its Diversity Champions programme for employers has now reached 200, making it Britain’s fastest growing workplace equality programme.

International IT company Hewlett-Packard will be the 200th organisation to join and will be working with Stonewall to promote good working conditions and equal treatment for its lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.

Stephen Frost, director of Stonewall’s Workplace Programmes, said “We’re delighted to welcome Hewlett-Packard as our 200th member. More and more top employers are realising that diversity is good for both their staff and their business. We’re finally seeing sexual orientation accorded equal importance with other diversity issues in the workplace, which is reflected in the rapid growth of our membership.”

Stonewall is hosting a reception tonight at London’s Serpentine Gallery, sponsored by RBS, to celebrate the ever-increasing number of organisations in Britain who are demonstrating their commitment to gay equality in the workplace.

There will be keynote speeches by Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade Industry, and Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill.

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, established in 2001, seeks good practice on sexual orientation issues in the UK workplace. The 200 members employ over 3.2 million employees across Britain. Recent members include ITV, Herbert Smith LLP, Cardiff Council and Cleveland Fire Rescue Service.

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There are an estimated 1.7 million gay people in the UK workforce