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IBM rated most gay-friendly employer for the second time

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  1. Sensibly Common 13 Jan 2010, 11:25am

    I think my brain exploded from all those buzzwords. What exactly is an LGB value proposition and lifecycle?

    Still, well done them!

  2. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 11:25am

    Good for IBM – it does seem like a good placed to work.

    However in light of the fact that Stonewall only speaks on behalf of its 30,000 supporters it would be interesting to see if IBM is one of Stonewall’s biggest corporate sponsors.

    Also this report gives information on 350 employers who want to be part of the index. Who are these 350 companies and are they corporate sponsors of Stonewall and getting repaid by Stonewall with some good PR.

    I am sure they are all good employers but considering that Ben Summerskill acknowledges that Stonewall has only 30,000 active supporters from an LGBT electorate of 2,800,000 and that Stonewall only speaks on behalf of its members then the results should be viewed in that context.

    Stonewall does not support marriage equality for LGB people remember.

  3. The Grinch 13 Jan 2010, 1:29pm

    Simon, seriously luv did Ben Summerskill run over your pet kitten or something? Everytime I see the word Stonewall I get a nervous twitch because I know our girlfriend Simone’s head is exploding and she’s foaming at the mouth while bashing her PC with no love whatsoever. You need to take your computer, sit yourself on the loo and take a massive dump in the hope it will work that Stonewall stick up your a*se for good. Alternatively you could become the change that you want to see in the world and by that I don’t mean printing a load of T shirts with “Stonewall Suck!”. Now go change your broken record and wait for a post on religion to come up so that your fingers can get all busy all over again….that said, luv ya babe, kisses and hugs.

  4. This is utter rubbish! do you know if you dont meet the stonewall employers criteria what you can do?? well its very simply you can buy it!! well done stonewall well done indeed!

  5. theotherone 13 Jan 2010, 1:51pm

    since it’s stonewall and they don’t give a fvck about Trannies then I’ll avoid getting a job at IBM.

  6. Simon said: “Also this report gives information on 350 employers who want to be part of the index. Who are these 350 companies and are they corporate sponsors of Stonewall and getting repaid by Stonewall with some good PR.”

    Not entirely fair to Stonewall, as it is sometimes critical of paid-up members of the Diversity Champions scheme.

    “Stonewall does not support marriage equality for LGB people remember.”

    With Nick Clegg now edging towards support for marriage equality, perhaps it’s about time Stonewall look again at their policy on this issue.

  7. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 2:26pm

    The Grinch: I am not baahing Stonewall. I have never bashed Stonewall.

    I am merely pointing out that they only represent their own 30,000 members and that they do not represent the other 98.9% of the LGB population. That is essential to point out whenever Stonewall is discussed. And seeing as they don’t seem to want to point it out themselves then I will do it for them.

    It is of course worth asking the question which of the 350 companies on the Stonewall register are corporate sponsors of Stonewall? As Stonewall themselves admit – they are a special interest group lobbying solely on behalf of the 1.2% of the LGB population which supports them. Are they merely doling these awards out as good PR in return for the funding they receive from IBM and others?

    In light of the fact that Stonewall is clearly out of touch with the wider LGB population because they do not support equality for LGB people; then they are not a legitimate group to be speaking on behalf of the LGB community.

    Insulting me in a childish manner does not alter this.

    This is a statement of fact. And it is worth pointing out.

  8. The Grinch 13 Jan 2010, 3:01pm

    Simon: “I have never bashed Stonewall.”
    Really? Well check out your comments against the post from Jan 11th on Religious civil partnerships amendment tabled in Lords. To quote:
    “How ridiculous are they?”, “Stonewall really are out of touch and unrepresentative. They truly are an embarrassment.” “absurd, irrelevant and out of touch”, “Stonewall’s pigheaded”, “It is time for Stonewall to disband”…….ugh I gave up after your ninth post of vitriol and personal attacks on Ben Summerskill.
    Stonewall leave a lot to be desired but it is disengenous at best for you to claim the high ground in what is clearly a near obsession in bashing these folk. And that my friend, is a fact confirmed by your own posts…thought I could point that out with a bit of humour in my original post but clearly when it comes to Stonewall you have none.

  9. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 3:16pm

    When it comes to Stonewall I indeed have no sense of humour. I am not remotely amused by any group which thinks I do not deserve legal equality simply because I am gay.

    They are opposed to equality for LGB people while positioning themselves as being the group which represents the LGB population.

    They represent only a tiny percentage of LGB people as they themselves admit.

    Don’t you think this is relevant information?

    And don’t you think it is also pertinent to know if IBM are one of the corporate sponsors of Stonewall?

    I have never engaged in unjustified bashings of Stonewall and any attacks against Ben Summerskill are not personal attacks – I do not know him personally and I would never comment on what he is like in a private sense. I have no idea.

    I do know however that he is chairman of an organisation which is opposed to my legal equality as a gay person.

    Stonewall do not represent the LGB population. They have clearly stated that they only represent their small number of supporters. This information needs to be broadcast more, because I don’t think people realise that Stonewall do not represent them.

  10. theotherone 13 Jan 2010, 3:27pm

    I’d ask again: why is there no T in LGBT these days?

  11. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 3:36pm

    Theotherone: Why should there be a T in the description of the population that Stonewall represents?

    They only represent their 30,000 supporters. Which is entirely their own business.

    They do not represent those people who believe in legal equality for LGBT people.

    The challenge now, is to inform the wider LGBT population that Stonewall has hijacked the LGBT equality agenda and substituted it with their own agenda (does anyone know what their agenda actually is). LGBT people seem to think that Stonewall are fighting on their behalf.

    They are not.

    Stonewall are clearly out of step with the wider LGBT population which is why they need to be challenged at all points; or at least they need to be honest in their dealings with government that they only speak on behalf of a tiny minority of LGB people.

  12. Stonewall have mentioned at several events that I have been to over the years that originally they tried to include the’T’ but were told in no uncertain terms by, among other, Press for Change, that they were not qualified to do so and should leave it to those who were. So they bowed to greater expertise and now get pilloried for it.

  13. If Stonewall don’t speak for gays and lesbians then please enlighten us as to who does? Where is the formal lobbying group that puts pressure on parliament and corporate bodies to bring about change? And why is their profile so much lower then Stonewall’s whoever “they” are?

  14. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 3:58pm

    I don’t think there actually is an official LGBT group which actively consults with the LGBT population on our equality agenda and who speaks to the government on our behalf.

    Such a group is desperately needed as both Labour and the Tories seem to think that we are happy to be treated as 2nd class citizens in the Civil Partnership Act.

    Where did they get the idea that the LBGT population are happy to be treated as 2nd class citizens? Well I presume that unless Stonewall specifically told them that they only speak on behalf of their small membership, the government and political parties may incorrectly believe that Stonewall is the group speaking on our behalf.

  15. theotherone 13 Jan 2010, 4:31pm

    ‘originally they tried to include the’T’ but were told in no uncertain terms by, among other, Press for Change, that they were not qualified to do so and should leave it to those who were. So they bowed to greater expertise and now get pilloried for it.’

    —that explains why they give awards to journalists who advocate raping and beating Transpeople thenb?

  16. Simon Murphy 13 Jan 2010, 5:21pm

    Request to Pink News.

    Can you do an article about Stonewall the group?

    There are so many questions that remain unanswered about them.

    They won’t seem to answer these questions themselves but these are questions which I feel merit investigation:

    1. Is Stonewall the only LGB group who the government speaks to to consult on LGBT issues?

    2. Does Stonewall always clarify in its meetings with government that their only mandate comes from its 30,000 supporters?

    3. Does Stonewall inform its 30,000 members about its specific mandate. If so what is that mandate?

    4. Is there some reason (other than ‘Some gay people don’t want to’) why Stonewall is opposed to marriage equality for gay people. Even if they don’t want to campaign for marriage equality then why won’t they support it even in principle?

    5. Does Stonewall do any consultation with the wider LGBT population (the 98.9% of the LGBT population who are not active Stonewall supporters) about the issues which are important to us.

    6. What is the alternative to Stonewall. Which LGBT groups consult with the wider public about their agendas?

    7. Is it appropriate for a group which is opposed to legal equality for LGBT people to use the name ‘Stonewall’ considering the Stonewall Riots were a riot for equality and equal treatment (which Stonewall the group is opposed to)

    8. Is it true (as someone mentioned in an earlier post) that “if you dont meet the stonewall employers criteria what you can do?? well its very simply you can buy it!! “)

    9. Does Stonewall receive all its funding from private individuals or corporations. Does it receive any public funding or money from the National Lottery etc? If so then on what basis do they receive that funding?

    Just in case anyone thinks I have a bee in my bonnet about Stonewall – I don’t. But I do think it is important that we all know the answers to these questions.

    If Stonewall are just a special interest lobby group which lobbies on behalf of its own members that is entirely their own prerogative. However if this is the case then a more consultative body needs to be set up, which will actually listen to the concerns of the wider LGBT population.

  17. Simon – if you’re interested in how anybody is funded, do and look at their financial statements, available in this case on Stonewall’s web-site, or by application to Comapanies House.

    If you want to find out who their principal partners are, go and look at their homepage.

    For other answers to your questions look at BS’s interview with Pink News last June.

    If you think you can be more representative of the LGB(T) community, and more effective in lobbying government, go ahead and set up your own organisation, and I wish you well with your membership target of 2.8 million.

    Post 2. Grinch – You shouldn’t have, but I *did* laugh.

  18. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 11:41am

    I just looked at their webpage.

    One of Stonewall’s principle partners is IBM. Well that’s that question answered.

    And looking through the so-called ‘Top 100′ employers I notice that almost every single one of Stonewall’s financial donors is included in the Top 100 employers – JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Amex, Aviva, Barclays, RBS.

    Funny that. Lots of banks as well.

    Stonewall is rewarding their principle financial backers by declaring them ‘Employer of the Year’. Good to know that they are looking out for their benefactors. It makes the award pretty meaningless though. Good PR for these companies in return for some financial assistance to Stonewall – an LGB organisation OPPOSED to legal equality for LGB people.

    I read Ben Summerskill’s interview last summer.

    His utterly absurd, offensive reason for opposing equality for LGB people is that ‘Some gay people don’t want marriage’.

    It would appear that Stonewall are in the pockets of banking institiutions (at least if their principle partners are anything to go by).

    Well at least 1 of my questions about Stonewall has been answered.

    The other 8 remain unanswered.

  19. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 11:44am

    The other 7 unanswered questions about Stonewall are:

    1. Is Stonewall the only LGB group who the government speaks to to consult on LGBT issues?

    2. Does Stonewall always clarify in its meetings with government that their only mandate comes from its 30,000 supporters?

    3. Does Stonewall inform its 30,000 members about its specific agenda. And how is its agenda decided? Are their financial backers involved I wonder?

    4. Is there some proper reason (other than the ridiculous ‘Some gay people don’t want to’) why Stonewall is opposed to marriage equality for gay people. Even if they don’t want to campaign for marriage equality then why won’t they support it even in principle?

    5. Does Stonewall do any consultation with the wider LGBT population (the 98.9% of the LGBT population who are not active Stonewall supporters) about the issues which are important to us.

    6. What is the alternative to Stonewall. Which LGBT groups consult with the wider public about their agendas?

    7. Is it appropriate for a group which is opposed to legal equality for LGBT people to use the name ‘Stonewall’ considering the Stonewall Riots were a riot for equality and equal treatment (which Stonewall the group is opposed to)

  20. “—that explains why they give awards to journalists who advocate raping and beating Transpeople thenb?”

    Hardly. All it explains is why the are careful not to claim to represent trans people.

  21. Simon:

    1. No.
    2. Yes, always.
    3. The supporters set the agenda.
    4. Because the supporters do not see this as a priority
    5. Constantly
    6. Google?
    7. Yes, because Stonewall are not opposed to LGBT equality.

  22. Everyone seems to have strayed into the area of ‘What is Stonewall about?’ rather than the original topic of the Equality Index. As the writer of the Notts Health Care Trust’s submission I take issue with some of the comments above.

    It took me 2 months to compile the submission, searching for and presenting a mass of information to demonstrate how the Trust deals with the issue of Equality and Human Rights. To be considered for the index all an organisation has to do is submit the application. You don’t need to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion, which is a scheme whereby you have a mentor from Stonewall who helps in the process of establishing LGB Equality. The organisation pays for this.

    The mentor does not help in the submission, that must be all your own work. The Trust used the process of submission as a focus to review its policy and practice and ensure that employees were engaged in that. It wasn’t a tick box exercise. One of the major benefits of being part of this process was the sharing of experience and practice across sectors that in other ways would not be talking to each other; banking and health for example. The process was an enriching one, if exhausting, and I am extremely proud of that body of work.

    I no longer work for the Trust so if you want to contact me and discuss this further I’d be happy to do so. I can be found at Out2Train@mac.com

  23. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 2:17pm

    No 21: A: You say:

    “1. No.
    2. Yes, always.
    3. The supporters set the agenda.
    4. Because the supporters do not see this as a priority
    5. Constantly
    6. Google?
    7. Yes, because Stonewall are not opposed to LGBT equality. ”

    Are you speaking on Stonewall’s behalf?

    Some points to raise about your responses:

    2. Really – because nowhere on the Stonewall website can I find a statement that Stonewall is a special interest group for a tiny minority of LGB people on whose sole behalf they are working. Why is this? If they don’t state this clearly on their website how can we trust that they do in their dealings with government?

    3. The supporters set the agenda eh? But who are the supporters? IBM; Credit Suisse; UBS; Aviva; RBS etc etc are the obvious ones as they are the ones that appear on Stonewall’s website and get included in Stonewall’s Top 100 employers list?

    I can well understand how equality is not a concern for major banking institutions. Do these institutions help set Stonewall’s agenda? If so to what extent?

    How does Stonewall canvass ordinary LGB people to set their agenda?

    4. So Stonewall supporters do not see legal equality for gay people as a priority? If this is the case then why I cannot take ANYTHING Stonewall says seriously. Especially if it is their banking partners who are setting their agenda?

    5. What consultation does Stonewall take with the wider LGB population (the 98.9% of the LGB population who Stonewall does not represent?). I’ve never seen an advert in the gay press asking for my feedback; any Stonewall online surveys advertised on Pink News?
    It is not sufficient to say that Stonewall seeks feedback when I can’t think of any time where they ever have. I am willing to accept I may be wrong here. Please tell me how I am wrong – where are the Stonewall feedback forums and how do these help set Stonewall’s agenda.

    7. At the present time Stonewall ARE opposed to LGB equality.

    They do not support the right of LGB people to enter a civil marriage. Even in principle. Their excuses for opposing equality are entirely unsatisfactory.

    When the leader of the LibDems appears more committed to LGB equality than Britain’s supposedly leading LGB organisation then you know that you are in serious trouble.

    I’m not having a go at Stonewall in case anyone thinks I am.

    I am merely pointing out how Stonewall does not represent LGBT Britain. They represent a tiny minority of people; are unclear as to how their mandate is set; and are oppposed to legal equality for LGBT people.

  24. theotherone 14 Jan 2010, 2:26pm

    ‘Hardly. All it explains is why the are careful not to claim to represent trans people.’

    —not represent Trans people? Your attention is drawn to the awarding an award to Miss Bindel, a journalist who advocated the raping and beating of Trans people in a peice in the Guardian entitled ‘Gender Benders, beware.’ Go look it up.

    Oh and let us not forget that when Trannies protested about this Ben Summerskill was less than positive about them. Look That up too.

  25. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 2:29pm

    Paul Head. I am sure the work you did in Notts Health Care Trust would absolutely qualify them to be included in a Top 100 Employers List.

    However at the present time too many unanswered questions remain surrounding Stonewall to take their proclamations seriously – in particular their lack of commitment to legal equality for LGB people; and how and who sets their agenda – is it their financial sponsors ie the Banks?

  26. Stonewall surveys its supporters on its work and its annual priorities, which are published on its website. If you sign up to support them Simon, you’d get surveyed too.

  27. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 3:40pm

    Stonewall is not a transparent organisation however; and with these unanswered questions about how they set their agenda; who they are answerable to; what influence their corporate sponsors have on setting their agenda; and why they cannot support legal equality for LGB people (even in principle) makes it extremely difficult to trust either Stonewall or their opaque agenda.

    I have written to Stonewall on a few occasions in the past to ask why they are opposed to legal equality for LGB people.

    I proactively wrote to them to ask them this.

    The responses were inadequate – the same absurd and offensive ‘some gay people don’t want to get married’ responses used by Ben Summerskill in his Pink News interview last year.

    There was no suggestion that this is a topic that was up for discussion. Which I find bizarre.

    I know that Pink News boards are not a full cross section of LGBT society but it seems crystal clear that marriage equality is an concern for many people on here.

    Stonewall Scotland did a survey which indicated that marriage equality is important to 85% of their respondents. I simply cannot believe that if such an overwhelming majority of Scottish respondents regard LGB equality as important that it is unimportant to English and Welsh LGBT people. Stonewall Scotland actually did a survey to seek feedback and had 490 responses.

    The National Lesbian and Gay Federation of Ireland recently did a survey of Ireland’s LGBT population about their ‘burning issues’ and marriage equality was again one of the most important issues. There was 1500 respondents to that survey.

    When has Stonewall in London done such a survey (instead of relying on emails from people already signed up for their newsletter?)

    Is Stonewall in London seriously asking us to believe that marriage equality is a big concern for Irish and Scottish LGB people but somehow unimportant for English LGB people.

    Frankly I find that preposterous.

    COuld it be perhaps that their corporate sponsors make their donations on the clear understanding that Stonewall not get involved in contentious topics. I can’t think of any other reason why Stonewall – the self styled leading LGB group in Britain – is opposed to legal equality for the LGB population.

    Again I want to point out that I am not bashing Stonewall – I am just really bewildered by their lack of transparency and how they set their agenda?

  28. Simon. You seem, perhaps by accident, to suggest approval of Stonewall Scotland. Isn’t it part of Stonewall?

  29. Simon Murphy 14 Jan 2010, 5:59pm

    Well Stonewall Scotland includes trans issues within its remit so it is obviously more inclusive than Stonewall London which seems utterly remote from real life in its London bubble.

    I’m not sure if Stonewall Scotland supports legal equality for LGBT people. However I know for a fact that Stonewall London is opposed to legal equality for LGB people as they refuse to support marriage equality (Stonewall London is now less supportive of LGBT equality than the LibDems which is a tragic failure on its part)

    People can support Stonewall London if they wish. And I know that they do important work eg the homophobic school bullying campaign.

    But that does not alter the fact that they continue to give 2 fingers to LGBT equality issues by refusing to support marriage equality (even in principle).

    People should be more aware of that. If you support marriage equality for LGBT poeple then Stonewall does not represent you. It’s as simple as that.

  30. But it’s the same organisation

  31. Simon Murphy 15 Jan 2010, 11:13am

    Well obviously it is not the same organisation if Stonewall Scotland campaigns on behalf of its LGBT supporters; while Stonewall London campaigns only on behalf of its LGB supporters.

    That is quite a difference.

    Although it may indicate how ineffective Stonewall actually is – if its different branches are not even able to co-ordinate their goals.

    What is indisputable is that Stonewall London is opposed to LGB legal equality through their ludicrous, offensive opposition to civil marriage equality.

    This cannot be stressed enough. People need to be more aware of Stonewall’s serious policy shortcomings

  32. Simon, you’re uber-boring on Stonewall. OK, so you’d like Civil Marriage, and they say ‘well, we’ve got Civil Partnerships which give LGB people the same legal rights and obligations as marriage, so for the time being we don’t see it as a campaign priority’. I can appreciate that some people sincerely hold a different view, but to concude on the basis of this one point that Stonewall is against LGB equality is just fatuous. If you’re right, where does that leave UKIP, or the BNP, or the hard-line faith groups? Be real.

    You can easily find out what Stonewall’s priorities are by looking at their web-site at their current campaigns, or by reading their annual report. Or signing up for their newsletter, which is free. Or looking at the many research reports they have commissioned, which, I wager, give a more representative picture of gay people’s experiences, views and needs than the pink-plebocyte your deludedly crave. For the time-being, theyr’re focusing on things like homophobic bullying, and the immigration and asylum system, which are certainly of more concern to me than whether somebody calls themselves married or civilly partnered. But if you really feel strongly about it why don’t you do something useful with your computer and set up a facebook campaign and see how many signatures you get?

    As for the Workplace Equality Index, sling your paranoia down the pan. Yes, some of their corporate sponsors particpate in it, and get ranked, and IBM is top this year. The assessment criteria are on the website, and the top 20 are independently audited. If IBM have done well, then it’s because they scored the points. My employer is in the top 100 too, and I do our submission – like Peter Head said, it’s a lot of work, and takes commitment from the organisation. Unlike IBM, we don’t sponsor Stonewall – we can’t afford to. But if I thought anyone bought their position in the list then I wouldn’t bother, and neither would any of the other 350 who entered this year. In the meantime, over the time that we’ve taken part, it’s been an effective driver for organisational performance. Across all sectors there have been year on year improvements in employment practices for LGB people. But rather than think about any of the good that’s come of it, all you can do is fret about plots and backhanders, and you’re too lazy even to do a bit of basic research to find out some facts.

    The reason I’d rather support Stonewall than listen to you is that they’ve got off their ar*es, they’ve got organised, they’ve got funded, and they’ve got results. They’re smart, they’re cogent, they’re informed, and they’re effective. Whereas you …

    So come on, tell us. If you don’t like Stonewall, who do you support? And how? What do you actually do in the cause of your convictions? It’s hilarious to think of you feverishly bashing out your list of killer questions to sink Ben Summerskill – they’re so naive! He’s answered all of them elsewhere already, or the information is in the public domain, if you’ve got the wit to look for it.

    So do us a favour, switch off your computer for a couple of days, go and do something useful, and then come back and tell us all about it, dear.

    Peace and blessings upon you.

  33. theotherone 15 Jan 2010, 8:46pm

    ‘The reason I’d rather support Stonewall than listen to you is that they’ve got off their ar*es, they’ve got organised, they’ve got funded, and they’ve got results. They’re smart, they’re cogent, they’re informed, and they’re effective.’

    effectively support violence against Transpeople since the gave an award to a journalist who said that Transpeople deserve to be raped and beaten.

  34. Lord, theo, I don’t think even Stonewall would pretend Ms. Bindel’s nomination to be their proudest moment! Cock-up rather than conspiracy, I’d say. But to suggest it evidences that Stonewall are transphobic, or support discrimination or hate crime against trans people in any way is just really silly, and trivialises the debate how LGB works with T on issues of common concern. For what it’s worth, she didn’t win. Move on.

    Lot’s of LGB people aren’t well informed about trans issues, Theo, and I would hardly claim to be an expert myself. so why don’t you expend your energies on constructive engagement and communication? Then, perhaps, we could at last get over the futile whinging about Stonewall-does-LGB-but-not-T that recurs with tedious frequency on these discussion boards.

  35. Simon Murphy 16 Jan 2010, 3:40am

    Stonewall London do not support civil marriage for gay people.

    Why?

    I consider their stance to be homophobic simply because I support equality and they quite clearly do not.

  36. theotherone 16 Jan 2010, 2:14pm

    Chameleon: cock up? They didn’t know about the controversy? What about the several other times she’s published similar articles? What about when they refused to withdraw her nomination? You say this ‘trivializes’ the debate on Trans inclusion? I’s day it goes right to the heart of it.

  37. You should speak with Caroline Spicer at IBM, Managing Partner for Central & Eastern Europe. Openly gay and good example of progression.

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