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The University becomes a 2019 Stonewall Top 100 Employer

Stonewall logo, black and white lettering

The University has achieved its highest ever ranking in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) 2019, moving into the group of Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for the first ever time.

In rankings announced by Stonewall today we were placed 80 out of the 445 employers submitting for assessment in this year’s index, with a score of 115 out of 200, moving up from a 2018 ranking of 138 (out of 434) and a score last year of 98.

We explain why this matters, what has been changing on the ground, and how staff and students can continue to show their support and make a difference.

The Workplace Equality Index is a benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. Participating employers report, through a written submission and portfolio of evidence, on work by many individuals across the organisation, relating to HR policies, LGBT+ experiences of the employee lifecycle, our work with and support for our students, the activities of our LGBT+ Staff Network group, our LGBT+ allies and role models, support shown by senior leadership, data monitoring, our community engagement, and our work in procurement reaching out to and influencing other organisations.  Staff from across the organisation also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work in relation to our LGBT staff.

The improved ranking is a result of many concrete actions across the University aimed at making the University a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our LGBT+ staff and students, whether actions carried out by individuals, by our LGBT Plus network group, by RUSU, or by particular Schools and Functions. Examples include:

The University’s LGBT Plus network, co-chaired by Alina Tryfonidou and Allán Laville, played an important role in shaping our submission and supporting and shaping actions happening on the ground. Alina said:

“I’m extremely pleased with this impressive result! Having an almost 60-place increase which has brought us up to the Stonewall’s top 100 LGBT+ inclusive employers, demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to the LGBT+ community of its staff and students. It also reflects the University’s hard work in ensuring that it is – and will continue to be – an inclusive and accepting place to work and study and enables it to make an explicit statement to internal and external stakeholders that it has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. There is, of course, more work to be done and we will all work together to make the University a fully inclusive and positive environment for LGBT+ staff and students.”

Equally important to our progress is the support of RUSU and joint work and planning across our staff and student bodies. Nozomi Tolworthy 雷希望, the RUSU Diversity Officer said

“I’m delighted to have received this good news at the start of the new year! This really demonstrates our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming campus for everyone, as a place to study and as a place to work. I look forward to working on more campaigns and initiatives jointly with the University of Reading and seeing our exciting ideas for LGBT+ History Month coming to life!”

Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the University Executive Board’s LGBT+ Champion, is very pleased to see these results.

“The Stonewall WEI is a great benchmarking tool to help us think through how we can make the University the most welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment it can be for our LGBT+ staff and students.” she said. “This is the third year that we have made substantial progress in these rankings, reflecting work that makes a difference by very many individuals across the University, and it’s fantastic that this this effort is now publicly recognised by our move into Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers, moving close to the challenging target that the University has set of Top 50 in the rankings by 2020. We encourage all staff to get involved individually, for example through the Allies Information/Recruitment Session and other educational and social events that run through the year.”

Staff and students can find out more here about the next Allies Information/Recruitment Session on 13th February, and the many other interesting and informative events that staff and students are running through LGBT+ History Month in February.

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