Yorkshire firms’ LGBT work lauded in campaign group list

Photo: PA/Daniel Leal-Olivas
Photo: PA/Daniel Leal-Olivas
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SIX Yorkshire-based organisations have made the list of the top 100 employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gender staff.

The highest entry in Yorkshire and Humberside comes from Touchstone at number 20, which remained consistent after ranking in the same spot in 2018.

The University of Sheffield is the regions second highest ranking organisation, climbing one position to 23 (24 in 2018) while DFW makes the strongest debut of organisations in Yorkshire and Humberside, ranking at 59.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also joins the list for the first time at 67 where they join Leeds City Council and Teesside University.

The top 100 rankings are produced by campaign group Stonewall and are considered to be the definitive list ranking employers from across public, private and third sectors on how LGBT-inclusive their workplaces are and is intensely competitive.

Alison Lowe, chief executive and Touchstone LGBT Champion, said: “Touchstone is delighted to be named a Stonewall LGBT-friendly top 100 employer for the 5th year running. Being a safe place to work is at the heart of all Touchstone does and this accolade vindicates the time, commitment and passion our staff devote to inclusion every day.”

Also included on the list were a number of organisations which have a sizeable presence in the region, including law firm Pinsent Masons, Lloyds, Barclays, KPMG, Sky and Eversheds Sutherland.

Last year, Stonewall released research that showed more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Roundtree Foundation, said: “We are delighted and very proud to be one of the top 100 workplaces on Stonewall’s prestigious index. Our whole organisation has worked together to ensure that we are as inclusive as we can be for staff, residents and everyone who interacts with us.

“We have a very active LGBT Plus staff network which leads on raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of LGBT people.

“This has led to senior staff attending conferences, committing to make changes and being proactive allies.

“To have improved our rating and entered the top 100 is something we will all want to celebrate but we also know that to continue to be inclusive we have to keep learning, keep engaging and keep questioning ourselves and our actions. We are confident that we can continue to build on this and ensure that the entire organisation is as inclusive as possible.”

This year’s Top 100 was the most competitive ever with 445 employers vying for a coveted spot.

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: ‘Touchstone and all the organisations in Yorkshire and Humberside who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the region.

“LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people.

“With so many organisations 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.’