University in Top 100 employers list for LGBT+ equality

  • Date

    Thu 30 Jan 20

Stonewall Top 100 logo

The University of Essex has been named one of the most inclusive employers in Britain and has jumped 36 places to 57th in the Stonewall Top 100 employers list.

Stonewall is Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality and each year it carries out an audit of the progress employers have made in breaking down barriers to equality.

To be included in the Top 100 organisations must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities.

Professor Christine Raines, the University’s trans inclusion champion, said:  “We are really proud to be included in the Top 100 for the third year running and our rise in the rankings clearly demonstrates the progress we have made in making the University a good place to work for everyone.

“However, we recognise there is still more we can do, and this year we will be extending our training for allies and reviewing the impact of our ‘Supporting trans and non-binary staff guidance.”

Actions taken this year by the University to promote inclusivity include: 

  • Introducing the role of a trans inclusion champion for the first time.
  • New gender identity and sexual orientation workshops.
  • Collaborations with other universities in the UK and globally. For example, we worked with University of Konstanz in Germany to help staff develop their own work in the area of LGBT+ equality.
  • The LGBT+ Forum and Essex LGBT Alliance had a joint stall at Colchester Pride with staff from the Essex Law Clinic also attending to promte the Essex LGBT+ Rights Clinic.
  • ‘Reverse mentoring’ for all our Inclusion Champions, including our sexual orientation and trans inclusion champions.

Sanjay Sood-Smith, Stonewall’s Executive Director of Workplace and Community Programmes said: “We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming to all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, businesses like the University of Essex are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”

Stonewall’s 2018 Work Report revealed 35% of LGBT staff nationally have hidden who they are at work and 18% have received negative comments from colleagues because of their identity. However, in organisations which have shown a commitment to LGBT+ equality, the situation is much better. As part of the Top 100 over 100,000 employees responded to a questionnaire about the culture and diversity in their workplace. This year 81% of LGBT+ staff said they feel able to be themselves at work.