Four charities have appeared in Stonewall’s list of top 100 equality employers, although some charities have fallen further down the list this year.
Victim Support was the top performing charity in the list, climbing from 14 in 2015 to 13 this year. Other charities that featured in the list were Touchstone (50th place), Barnardo’s (86th place), and St Mungo’s (72nd place).
Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers showcases the best employers for lesbian, gay and bi staff. It is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index – a benchmarking tool used by employers to create inclusive workplaces. The number of charities featured on the list fell from five in 2015 to four.
Lucy Hastings, director and LGBT senior champion of independent charity Victim Support, said: “Reaching Stonewall’s top 15 employers in the Workplace Equality Index is a fantastic result for Victim Support and recognition of everything we do to make sure the charity has an inclusive workforce.
“Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of Victim Support to ensure that all victims of crime – regardless of, for example, their gender identity or sexual orientation – get the support and help they deserve following crime.
“Within the past 12 months we have provided staff training to promote awareness of LGBT issues and enhanced our policy and practice to support victims of hate crime among a range of other measures. We also continue to have a LGBT network to give advice and support, and address any issues facing our staff and volunteers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.”
Charities fall lower down list
Some charities have fallen further down the list this year. St Mungo’s has fallen down the list, from 5th place in 2015’s list to 72nd this year. However, it was also named as Stonewall’s Network Group of the Year.
Stonewall said that this is because St Mungo’s “inputs into diversity training, internal policy review and supports staff and clients”. It has also used key calendar dates including LGBT History Month and Pride in London to raise awareness of LGBT equality.
Jamie Hickling, one of St Mungo’s LGBT*Q (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and queer or questioning) network coordinators, said: “St Mungo’s is thrilled to be recognised for the LGBT*Q+ network’s achievements and I’m particularly proud of how we have worked together with diversity across the board. We’re able to tap into the knowledge and skills of our network members and use these to develop the work we are doing with our clients. This year we plan to improve on all we’ve achieved so far.”
St Mungo's said that trans* is an umbrella term covering transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, third gender, and two-spirit people and a variety of other gender identities. How someone defines their gender is highly personal and the asterisk on ‘trans*’ indicates that there is more than one definition and all are welcome.
Touchstone also fell down the list from 19th in 2015 to 50th in 2016. Barnardo’s fell from 30th to 86th, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which was 88th last year, did not feature on the list this year.
Vishal Gaikwad, account manager at Stonewall, said: “Victim Support has done a fantastic job of ensuring it’s a truly inclusive place for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff and service users alike. We are delighted to see it not just retain a Top 15 spot, but in fact climb further up the Index, particularly at a time where resources and time can be slim.
“This also applies to St Mungo’s, who demonstrate the power of commitment, collaboration and hard work, and have been named Stonewall’s Network Group of the Year. Touchstone, Barnado’s, St Mungo’s and Victim Support truly lead by example not just to their sector but to all employers looking to make their workplaces more inclusive.”
The organisation which topped the list was MI5.