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University continues to be a Top 100 Employer

Stonewall WEI

Our University continues to be among Stonewall's Top 100 Employers, according to the 2020 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index published today.

We are placed 93 out of the 503 employers who submitted for assessment in this year's index, with an improved score of 116.5. Nearly 54 educational institutions participated in this year's assessment, and we are ranked 15th among these.

The Workplace Equality Index assesses employers on the work they are doing to encourage the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans (LGBT+) community. This relates to employee policy, employee lifecycle, staff network groups, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, and customers, service users and clients.

In addition, employees of the organisation are also asked to complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work in relation to LGBT staff.

Thanks to the work of colleagues across our institution, our score has been improving steadily over the years - from 98 in 2018 to 115 in 2019 to 116.5 this year.

Stonewall feedback

Stonewall's assessment panel complimented the University of Reading on ‘Faces of Reading' and the strength of internal communications. They noted, "It's great to see explicit statements of inclusion, diverse recruitment and clear signposting of your staff networks. The Faces of Reading is also such a great tool for encouraging diverse recruitment and showing your commitment to D&I. Really good internal communications around specific LGBT days and also promotion of L&D opportunities to LGBT employees."

The panel also felt that our LGBT+ Network is "very active and a key part of university life" and that there is high level of engagement from our LGBT Allies. "The appointment of a 'lead ally' (Gemma Fitz) is also a good idea and it's good to see them lead on coaching and mentoring of other allies. Your support for employees to become LGBT role models is fantastic."

They also noted the "fantastic exposure and engagement" from senior leaders and how we are utilising our "position in the local community to further LGBT rights".

Allán Laville, the new Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, said, "I am extremely pleased that we continue to be a Top 100 Employer in Stonewall's rankings. It reflects our ongoing commitment to our LGBT+ colleagues, and the hard work put in by our LGBT+ Staff Network, RUSU officers and colleagues across the institution to make this an inclusive and welcoming place."

Zeid Sharif, RUSU Diversity Officer, said, "Top 100 for two years in a row is impressive, more so in view of the increased competition from employers. I feel privileged to have been involved in initiatives and campaign that make Reading an inclusive and welcoming place to study and work, and I look forward to continued work on this."

Parveen Yaqoob, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Board's LGBT+ Champion, said, "Four years ago, we set out to be a Stonewall Top 50 Employer by 2020. We were placed 204 then and the target felt very challenging. It is impressive to see how the University community worked together to move us into the Top 100 Employers and within reach of our very challenging target.

"As the feedback from the Stonewall assessment panel states - we are working together well and continuing to make a strong impact on how the LGBT+ community at the University and in surrounding areas feels about the institution."


To see the full list of Stonewall's Top 100 Employers, please visit:


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