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National Assembly increases score in gay-friendly places to work index

17 January 2013

The National Assembly for Wales has again been ranked as one of the top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK.

The Workplace Equality Index, produced by the equal rights organisation Stonewall, looks at a range of markers to measure how gay-friendly organisations are.

The Assembly has increased its index score by 2 points and remains in the top 30 UK employers, and amongst the top five in Wales.

One of those measures is how well organisations engage with the wider lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The Assembly’s community engagement work has been used by Stonewall Cymru as a case study in recognition of its success.

The National Assembly’s staff network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) employees has also, for a second year running, been recognised as an exemplar in Wales.

“The National Assembly must reflect the hopes and aspirations of all communities in Wales if we are to earn their trust,” said Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM.

“It is the fifth year running that we have been ranked amongst the top gay-friendly places to work in the UK.

“It is something that I am very proud of and demonstrates that the Assembly is a modern orgnisation that represents all communities in Wales.”

Sandy Mewies AM, the Assembly Commissioner with responsibility for equalities issues, added: “I would like to pay tribute to the Assembly’s staff, who work hard on ensuring that all the programmes are in place to ensure that the Assembly is a friendly and positive place to work for all our staff.

“This year we have also been used as a case study by Stonewall Cymru for best practice in terms of engagement with the wider LGBT community, so it demonstrates that we are not resting on our laurels, and always seeking to make improvements.”

In the past year, the National Assembly has undertaken the following work to make the Assembly a more gay-friendly place to work:

  • We continue to work with local partners to celebrate LGBT History Month;

  • We continue to take our Outreach Bus to the Cardiff Mardi Gras where the Presiding Officer spoke on the main stage and met with many attendees;

  • We increased our community engagement by consulting with LGBT groups on the development of our Equality Plan and filmed anti-bullying videos for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia;

  • We produce monthly equality bulletins which contain information on LGBT news, publications, conferences etc;

  • We promote LGBT equality internally, through our inclusive staff policies, training and awareness-raising;

  • We have a senior LGBT champion and a number of senior allies who promote LGBT equality internally and externally;

Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru said: “During the past decade Welsh employers have come a long way and it is particularly heartening that once again they represent such a healthy proportion of the Top 100, and that they continue to focus on making a real difference to people’s working lives.”

“In 2003 one in four respondents to our first ever research reported having being dismissed from their job because of their sexual orientation. In marking our 10th anniversary in Wales we are delighted at the changes we’ve witnessed during this time. We are equally mindful that there remains much work to be done to make sure that Wales’ 114,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual employees can be themselves and perform better as a result.”

“We received more entries from Wales than ever before this year and competition was as fierce as ever. Through continued leadership, the National Assembly has retained their position as one of the top employers for gay people in Britain. Congratulations!”

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