Council and police in top 100 for workplace equality

Police officers, including Chief Constable Craig Guildford, with staff and volunteers, flying the flag at the Nottinghamshire Pride event of 2017.
Police officers, including Chief Constable Craig Guildford, with staff and volunteers, flying the flag at the Nottinghamshire Pride event of 2017.

Two of the most important organisations in the county have been lauded for their attitudes towards employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Both Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police have made the top 100 of the nationwide workplace equality index for 2018, produced by Stonewall, the charity that champions LGBT rights.

The county council is listed as high as 22nd, up from 51st last year, while the police force has risen to 39th. Also in the leading 100 are Lloyds Bank (fifth) and the Co-op (66th), who both have branches across Mansfield and Ashfield.

Now in its 14th year, the Stonewall index is regarded as the definitive list showcasing the best employers for LGBT staff.

The chairman of the county council’s corporate equality group, Jayne Francis-Ward, said: “I am proud and thrilled that we have not only retained our place in the top 100, but also moved up 29 places.

“This sends a powerful message to all our employees, potential future employees and the people we serve that the county council is committed to fairness and respect for all.

“The progress made by the council over a number of years is down to the hard work of many people, especially our fantastic LGBT staff network, which I am delighted to see has been highly commended by Stonewall.”

Among the council’s achievements over the last year, which earned Stonewall’s approval, was the launch of a film and booklet on LGBT role models, produced with other local public-sector organisations.

Nearely 400 employees joined its Proud Allies initiative where they show visible support to LGBT colleagues and service-users, while new equality-awareness training is now mandatory for all employees.

The chairman of the council also led the first parade at the Worksop Pride event, and participated in Nottinghamshire Pride.

The criteria for the list examines ten areas of employment policy and practice, and the police’s Chief Constable, Craig Guildford, was delighted that the force had been included in the top 100 for the third year running.

“This is fantastic news,” he said. “I’d like to congratulate everyone throughout the force for their hard work to show we are working to become an employer of choice.

“It is a huge compliment and proves that we are continuing to do the right things. Nottinghamshire Police is committed to creating an inclusive, safe and stimulating environment for every employee, and we are working hard to ensure everyone feels supported to bring their whole selves to work.

“We must retain focus and strive to continually support LGBT equality and inclusion. We remain hugely committed to supporting the LGBT communmity in our county and to promote a better working environment for all our staff.”

More than 430 organisations across the UK took part in the index, and more than 93,000 employees completed a staff survey.

Darren Towers, executive director of Stonewall, said: “Those who made the top 100 have done a fantastic job. Taking part showed real commitment to understanding and advancing LGBT equality.

“For the first time, the index looked at what employers were doing for trans equality in the workplace. Half of trans people have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination. This must change.

“With the support and hard work of these organisations, we can create a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”

Stonewall’s number one employer for 2018 was the National Assembly for Wales.