15 June 2012

Shadow Equalities Minister hails progress on gay employment rights

Kate Green addresses Stonewall Manchester Workplace Conference
Charity launches 2013 Workplace Equality Index

The Shadow Equalities Minister Kate Green today commended Stonewall for its work on employment policy, hailing a ‘ground-breaking transformation in social attitudes’ towards lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. Ms Green was speaking at Stonewall’s Workplace Conference in Manchester, where the charity launched its 2013 Workplace Equality Index. The Index, which is now online and is free to enter for all employers, forms the basis of the annual list of Britain’s Top 100 gay-friendly employers.

During her opening speech Ms Green said: ‘The pipeline to employment – schools – is a huge challenge and I commend Stonewall for all their work here.’ Ms Green added that employers would benefit from embracing diversity. ‘The moral case is also the business case,’ she said. ‘Employers who put themselves out as open to all talent will perform best.’

The Stonewall Workplace Conference, supported by Barclays, gave 120 delegates from every sector of Britain’s economy a chance to hear from speakers including the Shadow Equalities Minister, University of Salford’s Vice Chancellor Professor Martin Hall, and Barclays Global Head of Equity Operations Richard Seeley.

Stonewall Director of Workplace Colleen Humphrey said: ‘Diversity is vital for businesses to succeed, particularly when the economic climate is tough. Britain’s 1.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual staff look for employers who do more than just “tolerate” them. Organisations attending today’s Workplace Conference send a clear message to gay staff and potential recruits that they respect their contribution and talent.’

Stonewall works with over 600 employers throughout Britain, who have 10 million staff worldwide, through its Diversity Champions programme.

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