Stonewall have begun compiling their 2008 Workplace Equality Index, which lists the UK’s top 100 employers for gay people.

Participating in the Index is a key tool in demonstrating an organisation’s commitment to diversity.

It is read by many of Britain’s 1.7 million gay employees and 3.6 million gay consumers.

By tangibly giving credit for improvements, it shows employees that the organisations they work in take diversity and their staff seriously.

Will Martin, Manager of Workplace Programmes, told PinkNews: “Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index showcases employer good policy and practice on sexual orientation equality in the workplace.

“We strongly encourage employers to enter the Index to benchmark themselves against Britain’s leading employers for lesbian and gay people and to set themselves goals for improvement in this area.

“The Index questionnaire can be found at www.stonewall.org.uk/wei.”

A spokesperson for Stonewall told PinkNews: “We’re very interested in getting more private sector companies involved.

“There were a number of sectors in the top 100 last year and this year IBM was named the UK’s top gay-friendly employer.

“They were joined in the Top 10 by three other private sector organisations: Lloyds TSB, Goldman Sachs, and KPMG.

“Last year’s Index had major under representation from private sector organisations (28 out of the Top 100) with public sector organisations making up the majority of the Index, and this is an aspect of the Workplace Equality index we would like to see change.

“Retail, Industrial and Pharmaceutical, for example, were among the under represented sectors.

They added: “Stonewall now works with over 300 organisations through our Diversity Champions programme, providing a range of advice and support on dealing with diversity in the workplace for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

“The positive promotion of change rather than simply relying on enforcing legislation is central to our approach.

The WEI list is now regarded as the definitive national benchmarking exercise to showcase the best employers in Britain for lesbian and gay people.

In addition, universities now direct their students to www.stonewall.org.uk/students, where graduates can discover which employers have made it into the Index.

The questionnaire closes on September 21st.