Students and employers welcomed Stonewall’s lesbian and gay recruitment guide last night.

Representatives from large organisations such as Goldman Sachs, the Metropolitan Police and the Royal Navy helped make up a 135 strong crowd of employers who eagerly took questions from around 50 lesbian and gay students keen to know about gay friendly workplaces.

The guide, titled Starting Out, which is sponsored by investment bank Credit Suisse, was officially unveiled at the University of London Union (ULU) last night.

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”.

Vicki Slater, President of ULU, said the institution is pleased to be hosting the event: “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.”

In between taking advantage of the free food and wine, students from a variety of universities told PinkNews.co.uk that they were impressed with the guide’s design and depth.

Stephen Frost, director of Stonewall’s workplace programmes, hailed the event a success. He told PinkNews.co.uk: “We were delighted at the turnout and the depth of interaction.

“Students asking employers what they are doing to promote gay friendly workplaces is not something we would have seen five years ago.”

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.”

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.

Jobseekers will also soon be able to search all 174 employers included in the guide through PinkNews.co.uk.