We are proud to announce that we have been reaccredited by Stonewall for our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
Stonewall have published their Workplace Equality Index 2023, 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.
Through listening to our own community and doing external research, we know this work is important and crucial to ensure all of our staff can succeed and feel like they belong at the University. Research by the CIPD shows that LGBT+ employees experience less job satisfaction and psychological safety in the workplace and are also more likely to report negative impacts from work on their health.
At Essex, we have a LGBTQ+ Staff Forum and a LGBTQ+ Allies staff group, and we work with them closely to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. Additionally, our Working Group to Support Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender Nonconforming Staff and Students has come to an end and a collaborative staff and student forum will be created which we will continue to work with closely. In line with feedback from both our community and Stonewall, some of our work on LGBTQ+ inclusion has been to: review policies to ensure the language and policies themselves are as inclusive as possible; work with our Inclusion Champions to ensure LGBTQ+ inclusion is championed at the senior leadership level, and; provide support in organising and publicising events and resources related to LGBTQ+ inclusion amongst all staff. We are pleased with the progress we have made and continue to strive to create a LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace.
Stonewall has introduced an award system which aims to recognise the different stages of LGBTQ+ inclusion that an employer has reached, as well as the progress they have made. There are nine criteria in total and organisations can be awarded a bronze, silver or gold accreditation. You can find out more about the criteria via the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index Explainer (.pdf).
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. This feedback will help us identify further improvements we can make to our current provisions, as well as formulate actions for consideration moving forwards.
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.