• International Workplace
  • 18 December 2019

Lloyd's of London issues trans and non-binary inclusion guide

Following claims of sexual harassment earlier this year, Lloyd’s of London has issued a guide to the inclusion of trans and non-binary people in the workplace as part of a cultural overhaul of the insurance market.

Published in conjunction with Global Butterflies, which helps businesses improve their understanding of issues relating to trans and non-binary people, the guide offers advice and resources to people working in insurance about how to foster a “stable emotional work environment” for trans and non-binary colleagues.

The insurance market, which is now 333 years old, is often perceived as being very “traditional” in outlook and approach; a reputation that hasn’t been helped by the testimonies of hundreds of staff about routine sexual harassment.

In an effort to demonstrate it is taking these accusations seriously, staff have since been sent emailed warnings, coupled with a poster campaign in City of London bars, urging them to behave themselves during the Christmas party season.

The guide includes advice on issues such as language, including how to ask someone which pronouns they prefer to use to describe themselves.

Managers are advised to help make colleagues feel welcome by including their own pronouns in email signatures.

The guide, which includes case studies from trans and non-binary people working across the industry, also offers thoughts on how to be an effective ally to trans and non-binary people, including by speaking out against transphobic behaviour. Explanatory tools include a “genderbread person” graphic that explores the interplay between gender identity, sexuality, gender expression and biological sex.

The document advises staff to expect the proportion of colleagues who identify as trans or non-binary to rise. Marc McKenna-Coles, Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Lloyd’s, writes in the guide’s foreword:

“Where once trans and non-binary people were less visible, more and more people are choosing new ways to express their gender identity. 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.”

In practical terms, the guide concludes, getting it right just comes down to five steps:

  1. Understand trans/non-binary inclusion is good for your business.

  2. Trans/non-binary language can be complex but respectful language is not. Don’t worry too much about honest mistakes (but do apologise if you make them).

  3. Start small. It doesn’t have to be a big step, but make a step.

  4. Use your allies. If you don’t have any, start a network, join a sector-wide LGBT Network. Use your sector trans/non-binary role models (remember to use industry sector role models, they add more value than trans-celebrity).

  5. Once you have started, plan your next steps, don’t stop!


The full guide is available to download from the Lloyd’s website.

There are nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act – one of which is gender reassignment. This is the process of transitioning from one gender to another. You do not have to be under medical supervision to be protected under the Act. A person who has decided to live their life in the opposite gender without seeing a doctor is also protected. A person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment is referenced by the Act as a transsexual person.