The British Telkom group is the world’s most gay-friendly company. This according to the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) which released its first International Business Equality Index this week.

The index measures the performance of multinational corporations in relation to the LGBT community. These include the issues of diversity and inclusion.

The companies which participated represent 1.7 million employees in 227 countries and sales of USD 800 Billion a year.

The company which topped the list was the British Telkom group. “On behalf of BT, I am absolutely delighted with this recognition” said Ian Livingston, BT’s CEO.

“As one of the largest communication companies in the world, we provide service to customers in more than 170 countries and employ well in excess of 100,000 people across the globe. Diversity must be, and is, at the heart of our business and having the policies and the practices in place to support the LGBT community is essential to our success.”

Anne Heal, BT’s Senior Champion for Sexual Orientation added, “BT has been providing same-sex partner benefits to employees since the early 1980s and will continue to look at ways in which we can ensure that our people can be ‘who they are’ at work without fear of discrimination or prejudice.”

“The findings of the survey on which the Index is based are somewhat mixed, but definitively encouraging,” said IGLCC Secretary General, Pascal Lépine.

“The vast majority of respondent corporations have Diversity and Inclusion programs and most explicitly include LGBT issues. We see from this survey that most of these companies take sexual orientation and gender identity matters very seriously. However, full equality is still years or decades away.”

Other corporations that took part in this year’s Index included: AMR (the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle), Cisco Systems, The Dow Chemical Company, IBM, ING, Intel, KPMG, Kraft Food, Merck, Novartis, Philips, SAP, TNT and UBS.

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