University in Stonewall Top 100 of employers

  • Date

    Mon 21 Jan 19

Karen Bush

We have been named in the top 100 employers in the country for efforts to create an inclusive workplace for all staff, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This is the third time we have featured in Stonewall’s Top 100 list of employers who have demonstrated their commitment to lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality.

Karen Bush, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University, said: “We are delighted to be named in the Stonewall Top 100 for the third time as we have worked hard to create an LGBT inclusive culture at the University of Essex.

“As well as enabling staff to identify as non-binary, we have introduced diversity champions and provided safe forums where staff can share experiences, support each other and contribute to developing inclusive policies.We are now moving into a new phase of work which places as much emphasis on how people behave as it does on policy and process. We will continue to raise awareness of LGBT issues and will support staff to challenge inappropriate behaviour.”

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director, added:  “More than a third of LGBT staff still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination. That has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more, and shows we still have lots to do. However, with organisations like the University of Essex displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”

Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool,  used by employers to assess how well they are doing on LGBT equality in the workplace. This year’s index attracted over 450 entries.Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they have engaged with LGBT communities.

As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experiences in the workplace – an overwhelming 93% of non-LGBT employees said they understood why their employer is committed to LGBT equality.