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Compass Group UK & Ireland launches LGBT network


As part of its commitment to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workforce, Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, has launched its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network.

The business has also partnered with leading LGBT charity Stonewall and professional network OUTstanding, to help develop its workplace strategy and practices to further support LGBT colleagues at their place of work.

Compass Group employs approximately 60,000 people and the new LGBT & Allies network is part of its wider diversity and inclusion strategy to create a positive working environment for all colleagues. The LGBT & Allies Network follows on from the company’s recently launched “Women in Food” initiative, a commitment to achieve a 50% female chef workforce by 2020, an increase of 15%.

During the network launch on Monday, May 26 in London, attendees heard from two inspirational speakers including Jane McDonald, from Diversity Jobs and finance lawyer Aritha Wickramasinghe, who was last year named as a top LGBT Future Leader. They both spoke to the audience about the importance of creating a working environment where all staff members can be themselves.

According to Stonewall, 70% of people from the LGBT community who are out at work feel more supported by their managers, compared to those who aren’t.

Compass Group is now a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme which will see the business work closely with the charity to ensure that its policies and practices continue to encourage an inclusive workplace for all employees. The business has also partnered up with Outstanding, a professional network for LGBT professionals.

Melanie Hayes, Resourcing and Development Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “At Compass Group UK & Ireland, we are committing to a wider diversity and inclusion strategy in a bid to support a positive working environment which is inclusive for all of our colleagues.

“Following on from the successful launch of our “Women in Food” programme, we are excited to have introduced our new LGBT & Allies network and to be partnering with a leading LGBT charity and professional network so that we lead the way in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce for all.”

Aritha Wickramasinghe said: “Employers have a responsibility to create a workplace where all staff can be themselves. Only an inclusive environment can bring out the best in people. Smart employers know this and practice it.

“Compass Group’s launch of their own LGBT network is therefore not only a step in the right decision but a significant sign of the Group’s commitment to its staff, its clients and to its business. Diversity is everyone’s business.”

James Haq-Myles, from Stonewall, said: “We are delighted to welcome Compass Group into Stonewall’s Diversity Champion Programme and I look forward to personally working alongside its team to ensure it is an inclusive place for all lesbian, gay, bi and Trans staff.

“We know that people perform better when they can be themselves, and that a diverse team produces a more creative and productive workplace environment, and so a commitment to LGBT equality also produces tangible business benefits.

“We hope that this influences other organisations within the sector to sign up to the programme and learn how they can make their organisations a better place to work.”

OUTstanding’s CEO, Suki Sandhu also commented: “We’re thrilled to welcome Compass Group as an OUTstanding member. We know that their commitment to the diversity agenda will give them a competitive advantage, they’ll attract the best talent, make better decisions, be more innovative and, crucially, improve productivity.”


For more information contact:
UK Communications Team
Compass Group UK & Ireland
01895 554 999

Compass launches LGBT Network