Latest Public Sector News

19.01.16

Councils among the best employers for LBGT staff

Local government has been identified as the one of the best sectors for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff, with several councils featuring amongst Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index Top 100 list for 2016.

The Top 100 Employers list, created by the equality charity, compiles hundreds of submissions to the Index – a benchmarking tool used by employees to assess their achievements on LGBT equality in the workplace.

More than 400 organisations took part in the Index this year, the highest number in its 12-year history, with over 60,000 staff taking part in anonymous surveys about employers’ attitudes towards culture, diversity and inclusion.

Leicestershire County Council featured as the seventh best employer for LGBT people, but several other councils were amongst the top 50 – including Newcastle, Northumberland, Birmingham and Sheffield councils. Eight other local authorities were amongst the top 100 employers.

Cllr Pam Posnett, the council’s cabinet member for equalities, said: “I'm pleased to see the council ranked amongst Britain's top employers. Being a gay-friendly organisation isn't just about paying lip service, it's about delivering good services for everyone in Leicestershire.”

A spokesperson for Leicestershire County Council added: “To make sure we continue to be a great employer and provider of services to LGBT people, we have written and published Monkey’s Family, a picture book for young children who have been adopted by same-sex couples that explains the adoption process and why people might have ‘two mummies’ or ‘two daddies’.

“We’ve also developed a good practice guide for our managers on managing LGB staff: for example, on how to deal with ‘coming out’ and how to create an inclusive culture in the workplace, and we've worked with our partners in the police, ambulance service and fire and rescue to identify and celebrate LGBT role models across Leicestershire.”

But responses to the 60,500-people survey also revealed the stark situation for LGB people across different workplaces, with only 27% of them feeling comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation to colleagues.

However, senior leaders across both local government and other employers are starting to show more commitment to equality, with 63% indicating this in the survey responses.

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