Standing Up for LGBT Rights

1 Feb 2016

On January 22nd we announced that we had joined the global coalition, Open for Business, which supports the push for LGBT rights. This week, to mark the start of LGBT history month, we have changed the chevrons on Tesco signs at the front of our offices in London, Welwyn Garden City, Glasgow and Edinburgh to rainbow colours.

On January 22nd we announced that we had joined the global coalition, Open for Business, which supports the push for LGBT rights. This week, to mark the start of LGBT history month, we have changed the chevrons on Tesco signs at the front of our offices in London, Welwyn Garden City, Glasgow and Edinburgh to rainbow colours.

Open for Business makes the case that inclusive, diverse societies are better for business and better for economic growth. At Tesco, this is a campaign we strongly back as we aim to attract and develop talent wherever it exists. We want to build teams which reflect our local communities and to encourage everyone in our business to reach their potential – whoever they are, wherever they work, whatever they do.

Our colleague network, Out at Tesco, was established in 2009 and has over 1500 members across the Tesco group. The network aims to attract, support and develop Tesco’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex colleagues so that they feel confident to be themselves at work. The network also acts as a confidential advice service for all colleagues, whether they want to report homophobic bullying or just need a bit of help with an issue at work.

By joining the Open for Business coalition we will be helping to further promote the case for equality of opportunity for everyone, all across the world.

February also marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) History Month and gives us a chance to reflect on how we have helped to raise awareness for LGBT rights. The timeline below gives some of the key dates for LGBT rights in the UK as well as some actions Tesco has taken to support this movement.

2000

  • Stonewall’s first and longest campaign, to lift the ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the armed forces, was won in 1999 and came into force in 2000.

2003

  • At Tesco, we introduced a new equal opportunities policy which referred to LGBT rights specifically.
  • The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 were introduced in the United Kingdom. This ensured that employers would not be able to discriminate against employees on grounds of sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.

2004

  • 'Pride London' was formed in 2004 but the first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London in 1972.

2005

  • Sue Sanders, educator and activist, founded LGBT History Month and the first LGBT History Month was held.
  • The Civil Partnership Act (2004) commenced. The first partnership was celebrated in December 2005.

2009

  • Out at Tesco, a network for LGBT colleagues was founded. The network’s aims to attract, support and develop our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex colleagues so that they feel confident to be themselves at work.
  • Tesco creates its first policy and guidance to support transgender colleagues and their managers.

2010

  • Equality Act 2010 was introduced in England, Wales and Scotland. It demanded equal access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

2011

  • Tesco becomes a member of the Stonewall's Diversity Champions Forum: Britain’s leading best-practice employers' forum for sexual orientation and gender identity equality, diversity and inclusion.

2014

  • Tesco changes its iconic chevrons on the logo for the first ever time to its rainbow coloured 'Pride Chevrons' in all its city centre stores to show its support for Brighton Pride.
  • Tesco came 195th out of 330 organisations in the 2013/14 Stonewall index.
  • Out at Tesco wins LGBT Employee Network Group of the Year at the G3 editor awards.
  • Same-sex marriage legislation came into force in England, Wales and Scotland.

2015

  • Tesco launches its support for the Stonewall #NoBystanders campaign across the business. We were then recognised with a Special Recognition Award from Stonewall Scotland on our work to support the Transgender Community and the #NoBystanders Campaign.
  • F&F become the first high-street store to retail Pride T-Shirts to raise money for the Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline.
  • Over 100 colleagues from across Tesco join in the parade at Pride in London as part of the Tesco Supermarket Disco float.
  • Out at Tesco also won ‘Network Team of the Year’ at the Inclusive Awards.

2016

  • This year we have come for 119th out of 415 organisations on the Stonewall index. This shows a year on year improvement in our ranking.
  • Tesco joins the Open for Business Global Panel to support LGBT Diversity and Inclusion on a global level.
  • Tesco changes the chevrons on Tesco signs at the front of offices in London, Welwyn Garden City, Glasgow and Edinburgh to rainbow colours to mark LGBT History Month.