The University has been reaccredited by Stonewall for our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
Stonewall have published their first Workplace Equality Index since the start of the pandemic, and we are pleased that the University of Essex has been reaccredited with a Bronze Award for our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
We know how imperative it is to undertake this work, through listening to our own University communities and through external research, which shows that more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35%) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18%) have been the target of negative comments because they are LGBTQ+.
This is a new award system that Stonewall has introduced which aims to recognise the different stages of LGBTQ+ inclusion that an employer has reached and the progress they have made. There are nine criteria and organisations can be awarded a bronze, silver or gold accreditation. You can find out more about these criteria is Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index Explainer (.pdf).
We were disappointed not to have featured in the Top 100 Employers list this year under the new scheme and recognise that the pandemic has had an impact on many of our on-campus activities. Nevertheless, unlike many employers, we wanted to continue to participate in the Workplace Equality Index this year as part of our ongoing commitment to developing our working practices and policies to be increasingly LGBTQ+ inclusive.
The next step is a benchmarking meeting between the University and Stonewall, which will provide feedback on the University’s application, and is one of the most valuable parts of the process.
Further information about the Workplace Equality Index can be found on Stonewall’s website.
If you would like to speak further about these results, hear more about the University’s ongoing commitment to our LGBTQ+ staff and student communities and/or provide suggestions on ways to further LGBTQ+ inclusion, please contact the Inclusion team.
Director of Inclusion, People & Culture, University of Essex
Elaine is a chartered member of the CIPD and has worked as a senior HR professional for over 15 years in various sectors including Higher Education, Further Education and Local Government. As our Director of Inclusion, she works towards achieving positive cultural change and ensuring inclusive practice is embedded across the institution. Elaine believes in affecting positive change and champions Equality Diversity and Inclusion.