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Clifford Chance signs up to UN business standards to support fair and equal treatment of LGBTI people worldwide

8 February 2018

Clifford Chance signs up to UN business standards to support fair and equal treatment of LGBTI people worldwide

Clifford Chance is proud to be an early adopter of the United Nations' (UN) Standards of Conduct for Business to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people in the workplace and beyond.

The standards, which build on the earlier UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, are a key plank of the UN Free & Equal global campaign against homophobia and transphobia. UN Free & Equal promotes equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people in a world where more than a third of countries criminalise consensual, same-sex relationships; few countries permit transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their gender identity; and most parts of the world force intersex children to undergo medical treatment that causes both physical and psychological pain.

Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton comments: "No business is an island. We are part of society and proud to commit to these standards to drive positive social change through what we do every day. From how we hire and develop people, to the work we do, and the partners we work with - living and being judged by these standards will help focus the energies of the business world on making a key difference to the lives of LGBTI individuals.

"This isn't just a question of ethics, it is about our ongoing commitment to be a responsible and responsive business. Excluding anyone from any group holds everyone back, and every moment that someone spends worrying about what their colleagues or clients might think of who they are is a moment wasted."

The five standards

Businesses should:

  • RESPECT the human rights of their LGBTI workers, customers and members of the public
  • ELIMINATE workplace discrimination against LGBTI employees
  • SUPPORT LGBTI employees at work
  • PREVENT discrimination and related abuses against LGBTI customers, suppliers and distributors – and insist that suppliers do the same
  • STAND UP for the human rights of LGBTI people in the communities where companies do business

Clifford Chance is committed to further broadening the range of people in the firm and to fostering a supportive, inclusive work environment. In the UK, the firm was recently ranked 11th in 2018's Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, with Corporate Partner Narind Singh awarded the Senior Champion of the Year.