Gay charity Stonewall today launched the second edition of Starting Out, Britain’s only national lesbian and gay recruitment guide, designed for graduates and job-seekers.

The guide, sponsored by investment bank Credit Suisse and being launched at the University of London Union (ULU), is targeted at the 150,000 lesbian and gay students in Britain and includes 174 major employers.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said the guide helps organisations reach an untapped market, “Employers working with Stonewall are seeking to attract the very best talent and skills. Reaching out to Britain’s lesbian and gay graduates is a natural extension of this.

“Organisations featured in Starting Out are able to reach untapped markets of lesbian and gay recruits.”

It will be officially unveiled at the University of London Union (ULU) tonight, Vicki Slater, President of ULU, said: “We’re proud to support the second edition of Starting Out.

“Student unions were among the pioneers of lesbian and gay equality in education and have a long tradition of campaigning to end discrimination on any grounds.”

This edition of Starting Out and the launch event have both been sponsored by Credit Suisse. Anita Harper, EMEA Co-Head of Diversity Inclusion at Credit Suisse, said: “Credit Suisse has a strong Diversity and Inclusion programme and actively fosters a positive working environment for its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender staff. We are delighted to be sponsoring Starting Out”.

One organisation included in the guide is sports brand Nike, Peter Wisniewski, Director of Human Resources at Nike (UK) Ltd expressed delight at being included, “We’re delighted to be included in Stonewall’s latest lesbian and gay recruitment guide. This allows us to profile Nike amongst a new and growing talent pool.”

Stephen Frost is regarded as a pioneer in Stonewall’s workplace programmes, he is the campaign’s director. He said the guide helps companies stay ahead of the game, “We deal increasingly with students wanting to work somewhere where their sexual orientation won’t affect their career development.

“Employers featured in Starting Out know that promoting themselves to the best and brightest graduates demonstrates leadership and helps them stay ahead of the game.”

20,000 hard copies of Starting Out are being distributed to student unions, university careers services, employment agencies and university lesbian and gay societies across Britain. The guide will also be available later this week online at www.stonewall.org.uk/students.