The National Assembly for Wales has been recognised as the 2018 UK leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the latest Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
It’s the first time that we have topped the list and comes ten years since we first entered the index. Since then we have steadily worked our way up and have featured in the top ten for the past four years.
A leader for workplace equality
Stonewall has also highly commended our work in promoting, recognising and supporting transgender equality, citing us as one of only 11 exemplar organisations in the UK.
In addition, our LGBT workplace network, OUT-NAW, has been recognised as a Highly Commended Network Group and we have achieved the status of a Star Performer organisation because of our consistently excellent performance in the Index.
We are proud to be leading the way not only in Wales but across the UK.
Working towards more progressive ways of working
We first entered the index in 2008, where we were ranked 208 in the UK. Since then we have we have made incremental changes to our policies and engagement activities that has resulted in our continuous improvement and approach to LGBT inclusiveness and therefore, our rise within the Index.
We are a modern parliament and we embrace creative thinking. We have always been proactive and progressive in our approach to LGBT equality, creating an inclusive environment and culture by making small meaningful changes.
We have used an incremental approach to LGBT inclusion, using feedback from Stonewall and best practice to be a progressive organisation. Being inclusive is in our very DNA. The Government of Wales Act 2006 that established the Assembly Commission as a corporate body stated that the Assembly must ‘make appropriate arrangements with a view to securing that their functions are exercised with due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people’. So it’s part of everything that we do.
Leading change through strong leadership
We are proud to have dedicated and strong leadership, across the organisation and at different levels within the organisation, from the Llywydd, the Chief Executive and Directors, to our Diversity and Inclusion team and network members and allies across the Assembly.
Our inclusive approach is visible to staff and visitors. We fly the rainbow flag at certain points throughout the year, we have our Stonewall Workplace Index certificate and awards on display in our reception area, we have network members and allies wearing rainbow lanyards and our allies have a sign on their desk proclaiming their support of LGBT colleagues.
When one colleague joined the organisation he was delighted by our approach to LGBT inclusion, stating “it took me three years to come out in my old job; it took me less than three weeks to do the same here. It was clear straight away that everyone is accepted for who they are.”
Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, said:
“We are truly honoured to be recognised by Stonewall as the leading employer in the UK for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“The National Assembly has diversity and inclusion at the very heart of its role representing the people of Wales.
“We are proud to support our LGBT staff network and continue to work to create an inclusive culture – not only for the people who work here but for the people we represent across all Wales’ diverse communities.
“As Wales’ parliament, it is right that we should lead by example to demonstrate what can be achieved with the right attitudes, leadership and determination.
“This is not only a great day for the Assembly, it’s also good news for staff in the many other Welsh organisations represented in the top 100 employers. This demonstrates that Wales clearly understands the value of inclusive policy and service delivery and I congratulate them all.”
Joyce Watson AM, Assembly Commissioner with responsibility for diversity and inclusion, said:
“This is a wonderful achievement which comes on the tenth anniversary of the Assembly first being recognised in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
“It is a testament to the dedication of our staff, in particular our diversity and inclusion team, for embracing and ingraining LGBT equality in all aspects of our work representing the people of Wales.
“Our success shows that incremental changes in policy and a willing approach to changing attitudes can achieve so much and serve as an example to others.”
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