University of Reading becomes top 100 LGBT+ Employer
Release Date 21 January 2019
The University of Reading 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 time.
In rankings announced by Stonewall today, the University was placed 80 out of the 445 employers submitting for assessment in this year’s index, with a score of 115 out of 200.
Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the University Executive Board’s LGBT+ Champion, said:
“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.
“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. 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.”
The improved ranking, which sees the University move up from a 2018 ranking of 138 (out of 434), is a result of a number of steps the University has taken to be a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our LGBT+ staff and students. Examples include:
- Many staff signing up as LGBT+ Allies, joining an LGBT+ Ally information/Recruitment Session (the next on 13th February), and showing visible support through a rainbow Ally postcard or lanyard
- Training of LGBT Role Models, and making LGBT+ role models more visible across the institution, for example on Faces of Reading
- Reaching out to the local community, e.g. through Staff/Student presence at Reading Pride, or last year’s Wolfenden Seminar and Wolfenden Lecture on the poisonous legacy of Section 28.
- Demonstrating the University’s support, and the support of the University’s senior leadership, through public ceremonies for Trans Day of Remembrance, and the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
- Much work behind the scenes across the University, e.g. in HR on our policies and procedures, in Estates and Facilities on gender neutral toilets, in Procurement on how we pass our values onto and work with our suppliers, in Planning and Support and Legal on our Equal Opportunities Policy and analysis of data.
The University’s LGBT Plus network, co-chaired by Alina Tryfonidou and Allán Laville, played an important role in shaping the submission,
Professor Tryfonidou said:
“I’m extremely pleased with this impressive result. Having an almost 60-place improvement, 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.”
Nozomi Tolworthy 雷希望, the Reading University Students’ Union 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.”
About the Workplace Equality Index:
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.