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Lloyd's of London issues trans and non-binary inclusion guide in bid to modernise its culture

Ben Chapman
Reuters

Lloyd’s of London has issued guidance on the inclusion of trans and non-binary staff as part of a drive to overhaul the 333-year-old insurance market’s culture in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.

In a forward to the guide, Marc McKenna-Coles, the diversity and inclusion manager, conceded that Lloyd’s is “commonly conceived as being traditional in its outlook and make-up”, but says there is a “vigorous self-supporting trans and non-binary community already in existence in insurance”.

Lloyd’s, which only allowed women onto its floor in 1973, has been rocked by recent revelations of widespread sexual harassment, inappropriate behaviour and drunkenness.

A survey earlier this year found almost one in 10 staff had witnessed harassment, prompting Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow City minister, to describe Lloyd’s as “institutionally sexist”.

In response, Lloyd’s has updated its rules, introducing tougher punishments for inappropriate behaviour and a ban on employees entering the building while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Lloyd’s estimates that around 4 per cent of its staff could identify as trans or non-binary. It predicts that this proportion could rise to between 12 and 20 per cent over the next decade as younger people join the workforce.

The 29-page guide advises staff to cut out unnecessary gendered language and provides advice on how to ask someone which pronouns they prefer when describing themselves.

It suggests providing all-gender facilities, promoting visible trans and non-binary role models and ensuring forms do not only include options for two genders.

“It is much simpler to refer to someone as Hilary, than ‘she’ or ‘he’, and this can avoid worries over mis-gendering,” the guide states.

Managers are advised to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion by personally taking action such as adding their pronouns to their email signatures.

The guide provides explanations on the difference between gender identity, gender expression, sexuality and anatomical sex.

It also includes positive stories from employees at Lloyd’s and the insurance firms that participate in the market.

Chris Mousley Jones, a programme director at AIG, said: “I came out at a panel event at AIG. I said that I identified as non-binary and told people that I was saying it for the first time and everyone applauded, which was heart-warming. Then nothing really happened, apart from a few people, who said ‘well done’. It was all very low-key and remains so.”

In the foreword, Mr McKenna-Coles wrote that Lloyd’s has “room for further development” on trans and non-binary inclusion.

“One of the secondary threads of our research was confusion and lack of knowledge on behalf of managers and colleagues over how to handle the situation, and, with the best intentions in the world, how to make it all ‘work right’ for all parties,” he wrote.

City employers are taking note of the fact that increasing diversity and inclusion is good policy and good for business.

Firms in the top quartile for diversity were 21 per cent more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom quartile, a study by McKinsey found last year.

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Lloyd’s of London reveals one in 12 staff witnessed sexual harassment