City starts to cast off homophobic image as firms start to embrace gay and lesbian workers

City employers are beginning to overcome their traditional image as inhospitable places for gay and lesbian staff, research has shown.

Financial services recruiter Joslin Rowe surveyed 3,676 candidates for City roles over the past two years, and collated information on sexuality for diversity monitoring purposes.

Two years ago, 5.9% of respondents identified themselves as gay or lesbian. This figure has now risen to 8.2% in the past 12 months, as diversity drives in the City begin to make an impact.

Tara Ricks, managing director of Joslin Rowe, said: “The City was perceived as white, heterosexual and male – which put off many gay and lesbian applicants. But diversity is now at the centre of recruitment and HR policy.”

Investment banks and consulting firms now feature prominently in the league table produced by gay rights group Stonewall as the best places to work for gay staff.

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