Environment Agency Wales is Stonewall Cymru’s Top Welsh Employer 2013. For the fifth year running the agency has scored the highest score of any Welsh submission to the Workplace Equality Index, including feedback from their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.
This year the agency’s LGBT Staff Network has focussed on engaging staff based in remote and rural locations. Information on support available to LGB staff is prominently displayed in regional offices where staff do not have access to the organisation’s intranet system. The Wales lead for the network is also available to meet with field staff, raising awareness of LGB issues and the network’s activities.
“We are very proud to be named top employer in Wales for the fifth year in a row. This is testament to the work of our LGBT network and the attitude of all our staff."
“By making sure our staff feel comfortable and confident to be themselves in the workplace results in a happier and more productive workforce. I am honoured that we have been recognised by Stonewall Cymru for this achievement.”
Environment Agency Wales
Since joining Stonewall Cymru Diversity Champions Programme in 2011, Lloyds Banking Group has continued to develop specific support for Welsh colleagues through its LGBT network, Rainbow, and their regional ambassador in Wales.
The Group has also increased its efforts to engage with the wider LGBT community in Wales. In September, it hosted the first Stonewall Cymru Mardi Gras brunch before Cardiff’s Mardi Gras parade. The event was attended by Stonewall Cymru supporters and the Presiding Officer for the National Assembly for Wales who addressed guests. Members of the Rainbow Network joined Stonewall Cymru staff in the parade raising awareness of Stonewall Cymru’s equal marriage campaign.
“We recognise that there are specific challenges and opportunities for our LGBT colleagues, and other LGBT people, in Wales. I’m so pleased and proud that the Group has been awarded Top Welsh Private Sector Employer in recognition of our efforts and will ensure we continue to make progress”.
Group HR Director
Lloyds Banking Group
At South Wales Police, Chief Constable Vaughan visibly demonstrates his commitment to LGB staff in his role as the force’s LGB Champion and has dramatically raised the profile of LGB equality within the organisation over the last year.
The Chief Constable has supported the development of the force’s Gay Staff Network, and has also engaged with staff as part of a series of LGB specific training sessions targeted to line managers. Chief Constable Vaughan provided an opening address at these events, encouraging managers to act as role models and develop inclusive workplace cultures.
“I am passionate in driving inclusivity and respect for all staff and recognise that officers and staff who feel able to be themselves in the workplace perform better and are more likely to reach their potential. I’m delighted to receive this award, which is a reflection of all the hard work over the past few years of our teams, Gay Staff Network members, individuals and managers in developing and sharing good practice to support lesbian, gay and bisexual people and in fostering an inclusive culture.”
South Wales Police
The ONS LGBT Group are one of the organisation’s key stake holders, advising on policy, training, staff engagement and ONS’s strategic direction.
The network are also instrumental in raising awareness of LGB issues in the organisation. The LGBT group organised an internal screening of short films in partnership with the Iris Prize Festival and held ‘face to face’ discussions with staff as part of the ONS Diversity Awareness Day.
The LGBT Group work closely with HR to analyse results of staff surveys by sexual identity. Acknowledging lower satisfaction amongst Bisexual staff, the network are working in partnership with a local bisexual group to establish how it increase the number of bisexual staff it engages with.
"We've worked hard over the last year to improve the group and ensure that ONS cultivates an inclusive, diverse working environment. We're thrilled to have our hard work recognised as the 'Best Welsh Employee Network’. We hope that this will inspire us to do even better in the years to come."
Ruth James & Paul Hossack
ONS LGBT Group
The Council had the biggest improvement in score out of the 24 Welsh employers who took part and are now ranked 117 out of the 376 employers who entered this year’s index.
Over the last 12 months, Flintshire County Council has improved in areas such as senior leadership and staff engagement. To mark LGBT History Month, the Council’s LGBT Network ‘Voice’ profiled LGBT people in sport on display stands that were visible in various sites across the county. This information was also displayed in leisure centres across Flintshire coinciding with the passing of the Olympic Torch in May.
"We are delighted and proud to have been awarded Most Improved Employer in Wales 2013. This award recognises our journey and commitment to developing an inclusive workplace and providing high quality services to the public. We look forward to working with our LGBT employee network to build on our success."
Head of HR and OD,
Flintshire County Council