Following a poor performance in 2014, Brighton and Hove City Council re-enters the 2015 Stonewall top 100 gay-friendly employers list as the most gay-friendly local authority in the country.
THE TOP 100 Employers list is based on the results of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2015, which is based on a range of key indicators including a confidential questionnaire of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) staff, with over 9,700 participants.
The list consistently show that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 exhibit higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty.
Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty, the council’s lead member for LGBT issues, said: “As LGBT champion I’ve been adamant about our council’s commitment to equality and our role in the country to provide strong leadership on equality.
“We are the top council and the twelfth most LGB-friendly employer in the country and I’m thrilled that our work has once again been recognised by Stonewall.
“I want to thank all of our staff who have helped us to get here. As top council we want to send out a clear and important message to our staff and to our residents that we take equality very seriously.
“We are working hard to make the council a caring and supportive place to work and we must never underestimate that we can make a real difference to people’s lives. Harvey Milk once said: ‘Hope will never be silent’, and today we provide hope to the LGBT community.
“Today’s announcement sits alongside our excellent work on equality for the trans community. We are the top council in the country combating homophobia in the classroom, so along with our cutting edge work, we are adamant that equality for our LGBT citizens is of the utmost importance. There is still much work to do.”
Stonewall took into account a wide variety of examples of the council’s work around LGB issues including:
· a Dignity and Respect at Work Policy that clearly sets out how employees can raise any concerns they may have about bullying or harassment in the workplace
· a 365-day confidential staff help and advice service to provide employees with access to trained counsellors
· e-learning in equality and diversity issues that all managers have to take
· coordinating massive national and international media coverage showing our support for the introduction of same sex weddings
· support for activities around LGBT History Month and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust tops the 2015 list, with Tower Hamlets Homes second and Lloyds Banking Group third.
All three Armed Forces rank on this year list which coincides with the 15 year anniversary of lifting the ban on gays in the military. The Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force secure positions at 46, 56 and 91 respectively.
Pride UK at American Express wins the award for Network Group of the Year. Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s Chief Executive is named Senior Champion of the Year. Tamoor Ali, Senior Commercial Analyst at BP is Role Model of the Year. Ally of the Year is awarded to EDF Energy’s Chief Nuclear Officer Mark Gorry.
Accenture, Barclays, BP, Citi, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, HSBC, IBM, RBS and the Royal Air Force are named as Top Global Employers, based on their support for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff worldwide.
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO said: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and every employer featured in the 2015 Top 100 have performed remarkably. Not only was this the most competitive year to date, we’re delighted to see that in just fifteen years our armed forces are making real progress in supporting and developing their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.”
Ruth Hawkins, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, CEO added: “I am absolutely delighted to lead Stonewall’s Employer of the Year for 2015. The Trust has an outstanding reputation for its proactive approach to all strands of equality and diversity. Having appeared in the Top 100 list for a number of years it is especially rewarding to see that our continued efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace have been recognised.”
Simon Kirby MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, said: “Everyone has a right to work in an environment free from discrimination, this report is helpful in highlighting the organisations in the UK that are the best at promoting LGBT rights and equality.
“I am proud to represent a constituency with a large LGBT community and I was pleased to see Brighton and Hove City Council bouncing back, being rated the top Council and number 12 on the list, and also to see American Express ranked 51st.
“I hope that more employers will join with the near 400 organisations already involved by taking part next year, and that this report will encourage even more organisations to actively promote LGBT equality in the work place.”
Sussex Police were placed in 102nd position.
LGBT Equality Champion Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp said: “Although we have not been placed in the top 100 for 2015, this has been a really positive year for us where we have maintained and increased our equality work. One of our successes this year has been the launch of our Proud Allies network to support and promote equality in the workplace.”
The Sussex Police lead for Equality and Diversity, Chief Constable Giles York, added: “Each year, the challenge of making the top 100 has become increasingly more competitive, which we welcome as it shows the real appetite for organisations to better themselves and become more inclusive in the workplace. Sussex Police strives to continue to improve our own working environment alongside service provision. I look forward to our entry in the 2016 Index and moving back into the top 100.”
To view the complete Stonewall Top Employers 2015 list, click here:
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