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National Assembly is top gay-friendly public sector employer in Wales

15 January 2014

The National Assembly for Wales has been named as the top gay-friendly place to work in the public sector in Wales.

The Workplace Equality Index, produced by equal rights organisation Stonewall, looks at a range of markers to measure how organisations support lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

The Assembly has been ranked as No 11 in the top 100 UK employers and this year is also the Top Welsh Public Sector Employer.

“I am very proud of this award as it demonstrates that we are a modern organisation that represents all communities in Wales,” said Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM.

“The work of the Assembly’s network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans staff, OUT-NAW, has been central to achieving this recognition and to implementing the orgnaisation’s vision to be an employer which invests in its most vital resource, its workforce.

“OUT-NAW is very innovative in its approach, developing training packages for line managers and front of house staff, arranging events for staff, and it has launched its LGBT Allies programme where staff can support LGBT colleagues.

“As part of the Assembly’s community engagement strategy, we have also held our first ‘Pink Tours’ of the Senedd, encouraging the LGBT community to learn more about the organisation and engage with us.”

It is the sixth year running that the Assembly has been ranked among the top gay-friendly places to work in the UK.

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

“This year we have improved our ranking in the index and have been named the top public sector employer in Wales.

“It demonstrates that we are not resting on our laurels and are always striving to seek improvements, not only in terms of equalities, but in all aspects of the Assembly’s work.”

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

  • We have taken our Outreach Bus to the Cardiff Wales Mardi Gras and Swansea Pride to engage with the LGBT community and to encourage democratic engagement;

  • We have held events and tours specifically to engage with LGBT people;

  • We have used social media to promote LGBT equality and to show our commitment to LGBT History Month and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia;

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

  • We have an LGBT Allies scheme where non-LGBT staff can show their commitment and support to LGBT equality;

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

  • We have a senior LGBT champion and a number of senior Allies who promote LGBT equality internally and externally.

“The contribution our Top Employers make in shaping a fairer, more productive lived experience for lesbian, gay and bisexual people at work really makes a difference,” said Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru.

“We know this because our Workplace Equality Index measures it.  I’m very proud of the fact that 10 of the UK’s top 100 employers are Welsh employers.  Despite economic pressures, these employers show that investing in equality has never been more important.

“Congratulations to the National Assembly for Wales on being named our ‘Top Welsh Public Sector Employer’.  This is testament to the Assembly’s commitment to equality and diversity, which is visible at all levels of the organisation.”

Craig Stephenson, Chair of OUT-NAW, said: “A rise of 15 places above last year’s placing is high praise for the LGBT staff network and the organisation for the work it does to make the Assembly even more inclusive.

“It enables LGBT staff, like me, to be ourselves in the workplace and undoubtedly, people perform better when they can be themselves.”

Members of OUT-NAW with LGBT Allies

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