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University of Essex named top LGBT employer by Stonewall

One organisation from the East of England has made the Top 100 Employers list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall. The Top 100 is the UK’s definitive list ranking employers from across public, private and third sectors on how LGBT-inclusive their workplaces are and is intensely competitive. 

A new trend in this year’s Top 100 sees a significant rise in Universities named as inclusive employers. The University of Essex are one of 18 organisations in the higher education sector making the list, ranking at number 93.

Karen Bush, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Essex, 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.’

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

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.

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: ‘The University of Essex and all the organisations who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. 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 like 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.’

Full results of the Top 100 Employers list can be found online at: www.stonewall.org.uk/t1002019.

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