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Ruth Hunt steps down as Stonewall Chief Executive

Stonewall Chief Executive, Ruth Hunt, has announced that she will be leaving the charity in August 2019, following 14 years at the organisation and five years at its helm.

Stonewall’s Board of Trustees will begin recruiting for a new Chief Executive imminently. She is leaving to pursue a new opportunity.

Throughout Ruth’s time at Stonewall, she has played a central role in many of the organisation’s key achievements.

This includes developing the Education for All campaign, which, based on substantive Stonewall research, has seen significant interventions made to reduce homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying for all young people in Britain’s schools; the growth of the charity’s empowerment function, which has worked with more than LGBT people and allies to give them the skills to stand up in their workplaces and communities as leaders, role models and allies; the creation of a specific sport function, which is already, through largescale partnerships with the Premier League and other sporting institutions, changing the way LGBT people are included and represented in sport; and groundbreaking research that looked into the experiences of lesbian and bi women in healthcare that significantly changed the primary care paths for lesbians and bi women. Ruth has also led a vast period of consultation and implementation to enable the organisation to become fully trans inclusive; a move which has considerably strengthened Stonewall’s remit and supporter base.

In her time as Chief Executive, Ruth has seen the organisation through a significant growth period, with staff numbers increasing from 75 to 160, and income growing from £5.38 million to £8.69 million.

Jan Gooding, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: ‘Ruth has been a visionary, bold and inspirational leader during her years at Stonewall. We are incredibly grateful for her generous leadership, her unwavering commitment and her unmatched drive. We will all miss her dearly.

‘When Ruth took the reins of the organisation in 2014, Stonewall was a very different place. Over the course of her tenure, she has changed the organisation’s culture, expanded our remit and shown an unequivocal commitment to supporting parts of the LGBT communities that have been traditionally excluded.

‘Specifically, her commitment to integrate trans communities into Stonewall’s work, following a period of extensive consultation, has been and will continue to be integral to our development as an organisation. This is a journey that is fully supported and championed by the entire Board of Trustees. 

‘Ruth will leave with the knowledge that she has significantly transformed Stonewall for the better and has provided an exciting opportunity for a strong and forward-thinking leader to step in and take the helm during a new strategic period. I speak on behalf of the entire Board and staff team when I wish Ruth only the best in her next steps.’

Ruth Hunt said: ‘The past 14 years have been transformative for me, both personally and professionally. I am incredibly proud of how much we have achieved as an organisation and am honoured that I have been the person to lead this change at Stonewall.

‘Recognising the diverse experiences and needs within LGBT communities, exploring intersectional identities and looking deeply at multiple forms of discrimination, has not always been a comfortable conversation for Stonewall to have but it has been a vital one. Expanding our work to ensure we are more closely speaking alongside and sharing power with these communities is a journey we are still on, and one that I am confident will excite a new leader.

‘I could not be prouder to have led this amazing organisation for the past five years and look forward to seeing it – and all the amazing people that work for it – go from strength to strength in years to come.’