BP is targeting gays, women and overseas staff in a recruitment drive aimed at improving diversity throughout the company.
The global oil giant has introduced equal benefits for staff in same-sex relationships and married couples, including death benefit provision, relocation allowances and pension rights.
The domestic partnership agreement also applies to unmarried couples, and is designed to remove any barriers to attracting the best available recruits.
The company has also set recruitment targets for these groups and BP's vice-president for diversity and inclusion, Patricia Bellinger, believes the new targets will help build on progress made since 2000 when the company started to tackle diversity issues.
"It is just a way of attracting the very best people regardless of their sexuality," she said. "It is part of the richness and diversity of a company and it's about getting the best talent."
The company's chairman, Lord Browne, announced the diversity targets earlier this year as part of his drive towards changing the firm's negative image as an employer of "white Anglo-Saxon males".
Diversity is a major issue for BP which operates in more than 100 countries, and the company will use strict targets to drive and improve behaviour.
Bellinger believes the diversity programme of the past two years is already having an impact at the top of the organisation.
"There are growing numbers of women going into technical industries - in fact, our heads of HR in Pakistan and Egypt are women," she said.
Two years ago, the petroleum giant, which employs more than 110,000 staff worldwide, set up two committees to engage leadership and deliver diversity.
Bellinger believes this is one of the reasons why 40 per cent of all BP's graduate recruits in the UK this year are women. Furthermore, the company has recruited graduates from 25 different countries.
This approach has also helped increase the number of women on the 400-strong management team from none, to five.
"You have to make sure you don't have a biased organisation. You also have to create a positive impression and let people outside see that women are prominent in the company," she said.
Bellinger attributes some of the success to lessons learned when BP merged with Amoco, a company that had inherently strong diversity poli