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Director of GCHQ speaking at Stonewall's conference

GCHQ Director acknowledges historic mistreatment of LGBT people

  • GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan: ‘I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but not complacent’
  • Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyds of London and Christian broadcaster Vicky Beeching among other speakers
  • Stonewall launches first ever trans specific workplace guides with trans*formation, and latest campaign video LGBT Voices, at conference

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, welcomed Robert Hannigan, Director, GCHQ to its 13th annual Workplace Conference today (Friday, 15 April 2016), at the QEII Conference Centre in London, supported by EY.

Hannigan addressed the historic mistreatment of LGBT people, and paid tribute to the late Alan Turing and a former member of staff who was dismissed in the 1960s. He apologised to all those who were unfairly dismissed, recognising the amount of talent the country lost. You can read the full speech online here.

Robert Hannigan, Director, GCHQ said: ‘I don’t make many public appearances and much of the work we do goes on out of view, but I wanted to speak at the Stonewall Workplace conference to champion the right of people to be free to be themselves, not just within GCHQ, but as a vital initiative to inform and strengthen society.

‘Stonewall’s a key partner in GCHQ’s journey to improving diversity and inclusion in our workplace. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but not complacent about the work that we need to do. Through our own commitment to diversity and our work with Stonewall we will ensure that GCHQ is made up of people from different backgrounds and experience and sexualities and intellects. It is through this mix that we get the creativity and innovation that helps us to keep Britain safe.’

Inga Beale, CEO at Lloyds of London, joined Hannigan this morning at the Stonewall event, attended by over 700 delegates from the public, private and third sectors.

The annual flagship event brings together professionals involved in the delivery of workplace equality, diversity and inclusion to share the latest innovative thinking.

Speakers during the afternoon were Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt, Group Brand Director of Aviva and Chair of Stonewall Jan Gooding, Christian broadcaster and writer Vicky Beeching and Victor Nieves, Director, EMEIA Capital Markets at EY.

Vicky Beeching said: ‘I was delighted to do the closing keynote at Stonewall’s Workplace Conference this year. It has been great to participate in an event so deeply rooted in authenticity. I loved sharing my story, but even more so, hearing the stories and experiences of others from such a rich and diverse speaking line-up. Living so long in the closet has given me a passion to see people become fully alive and fully themselves - and when that happens in the workplace everyone benefits.’

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘It’s so humbling to see so many organisations represented at Stonewall conferences like this, and involved in all of the work that we do. While delegates here today no doubt represent organisations with different structures, goals and ideas, we are all united in our commitment to lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality

‘Stonewall looks forward to getting deeper into communities, tackling issues for LGBT people at work that might not have had as much attention in the past. For example, the experience of LGBT staff of faith, or perhaps disabled lesbian, gay, bi and trans people at work.

‘It’s vital that we continue to do so, and leave no stone unturned, to ensure that every single lesbian, gay, bi and trans person feels able to bring their whole self to work and is accepted without exception.’

Stonewall is using this year’s conference to launch the first two in a series of six trans specific workplace guides, in collaboration with organisation trans*formation, which you can learn about and download from our website.

In addition to this, Stonewall debuted its LGBT Voices campaign video today, featuring a range of people who work with and are supported by the charity. You can view the campaign video online now.

Breakout sessions throughout the day focused on themes including LGBT and faith, global LGBT monitoring, maximising the power of your senior champion and engaging staff in dispersed locations.

A Networking Zone has also been introduced to the conference for the first time, providing a space for delegates to develop their social networks. Businesses which took part included: the Home Office, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Gentoo, Gay Star News, EY, Interbank, CheckOUT (the inter-retail LGBT network group), Interbank, and InterEngineering.