What you can do

Less than 20 per cent of LGBT staff in North Yorkshire and Humber are out at work

  • Stonewall holds first ever Leeds Workplace Conference

  • Less than 20 per cent of LGB staff out in the region are out at work

  • Speakers included DJ Stephanie Hirst, Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt and Alison Lowe

Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, held its Workplace Conference for the first time in Leeds on Friday.

Keynote speeches that opened the conference, which was supported by EY, came from broadcaster and writer Stephanie Hirst, EY Assistant Manager Joe McMullan, Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt, and Senior Director of Programmes Venu Dhupa. 

Hirst told her own personal story, and discussed the importance of being a visible role model at work. She said: “The good fight for love, tolerance and respect is an unending one . . . Look how far we’ve come.” 

Alison Lowe (Touchstone), Nic Brennan (Cheshire Fire & Rescue) and Kieron Robinson (Stonewall Young Leaders 2015) shared their stories in the closing role models session.

Building and sustaining regional partnerships was on the agenda throughout the day, as was the importance of effective leadership, supporting bi staff, supporting trans staff and exploring religion and ethnicities.

According to Stonewall’s 2015 WEI staff survey, less than 20 per cent of LGB staff in North Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands are completely out at work.

We’re delighted to have been welcomed so warmly in Leeds last week for our Workplace Conference. It was fantastic to see such a range of organisations committed to improving equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff together in the same room.

However, we know there’s still lots to do. Stonewall will continue to build and develop regional partnerships to ensure organisations can best support LGBT staff and enable them to feel comfortable in being themselves at work. 

We won’t stop until all people, everywhere, feel free to be themselves and are accepted without exception.

Ruth Hunt, CEO, Stonewall