The Co-operative Group is one of only two retailers to be listed in Stonewall’s list of top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers for 2017.

The Top 100 Employers list – created by the UK’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charity and lobby group – is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace.

The Co-op climbed from 72nd in 2016 to 31st this year while rival Asda jumped from 83rd in 2016 to 25th.

Stonewall’s retail sector lead, Matt Moore, said it was “fantastic” to see the Group move up the list – but was concerned to see only two retailers included.

“The sector in general continues to be underrepresented in the index, and we hope to see this change in the future,” he said.

“Until then, we hope to see both Asda and the Co-op continue to lead by example, demonstrating a true commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and helping their lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff to bring their whole selves to work.”

Adrian Shooter, director of executive talent and diversity at the Group, paid tribute to the company’s attributed his company’s internal Respect Network.

‘As a co-operative we pride ourselves on the support we give to all our colleagues… and the collaborative efforts of our businesses working together to support the LGBT community,” he said.

  • View the full Top 100 Employers list here.