Shepherd and Wedderburn has been ranked 16th in a new list of the UK’s best 25 legal employers for LGBT inclusion in the workplace, making it the top-ranked Scottish-headquartered firm for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff.

The “Top 25 in the Legal Sector” listing is published by charity group Stonewall and the InterLaw Diversity Forum, which works to foster inclusion in the legal sector. The legal listing is part of Stonewall’s annual Workplace Equality Index (WEI).

The WEI is a national benchmark for employers to measure their progress on LGBT inclusion in the workplace. Organisations are ranked on several criteria including workplace policies and benefits, senior leadership, monitoring, the performance of LGBT employee network groups, employee feedback and community and client engagement.

Andrew Blain, managing partner of Shepherd and Wedderburn, said the firm was pleased that its efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion had been recognised. This work is led by senior partner Yvonne Brady, who was appointed in June last year as head of diversity, development and inclusion.

“Our standing in the WEI also reflects our recognition of the valuable contribution we can all make to an organisation and wider society through our many different experiences and perspectives,” Mr Blain said.

“We are proud of our inclusive and collaborative approach, both internally and when working with clients, and are committed to promoting a meritocratic culture that encourages career progression for all.”

Colin Macfarlane, director of Stonewall Scotland, said Shepherd and Wedderburn is “playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people in Scotland”.

“We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff – 36% – hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”