University achieves highest ever Stonewall ranking
Thursday, 01 February 2018
The University has achieved its highest ever ranking in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) 2018.
In rankings announced to mark the start of LGBT History Month, we were placed 138 out of the 434 employers that entered this year’s index.
We explain why this matters, what has changed on the ground, and what you can concretely do to make a difference for LGBT+ staff and students.
The Workplace Equality Index is a benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organisation also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work. This year’s ranking of 138/434 is a major improvement on our position in 2017 when the University was ranked 168 out of 440, itself a substantial improvement on our 2016 ranking of 204/413.
The improved ranking is a result of many concrete actions across the University aimed at making the University a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our LGBT+ staff and students, whether actions carried out by individuals, by our LGBT Plus network group, by RUSU, or by particular Schools and Functions. Examples include:
Many staff signing up as LGBT+ Allies, joining an LGBT+ Ally information/Recruitment Session (the next on 15th February), and showing visible support through a rainbow Ally postcard or lanyard
Reaching out to the local community, e.g. through the joint Wolfenden Legacy project for education in local schools, through Staff/Student presence at Reading Pride, or through our inaugural Wolfenden Lecture given by Ruth Hunt
Demonstrating the University’s support, and the support of the University’s senior leadership, through public ceremonies for Trans Day of Remembrance, and the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
Much work behind the scenes across the University, e.g. in HR on our procedures to support Trans staff and students, in Procurement on how we pass our values onto our suppliers, in Planning and Support and Legal on our new Equal Opportunities Policy and analysis of data.
We have recently announced on the staff portal.a variety of ways you can get involved though LGBT History Month in February to show your support, help this effort, and find out more.
The University’s LGBT Plus network, co-chaired by Deb Heighes and Calvin Smith, played an important role in shaping our submission and supporting and shaping actions happening on the ground. Deb and Calvin said: “This is a great, positive step towards making the University a more inclusive place for LGBT+ staff and students. We are really pleased that the University continues to strongly engage with the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.”
Simon Chandler-Wilde, the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, is very pleased to see these results. “The Stonewall WEI is a great benchmarking tool to help us think through how we can make the University the most welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment it can be for our LGBT+ staff and students, and this is the second year that we have made substantial progress in these rankings,” he said. “The University has set a challenging target of Top 50 in the rankings by 2020, and these results are a great platform and strong encouragement to push on and achieve that goal, and make a concrete difference on the ground. We encourage all staff to get involved individually, for example through the Allies Information/Recruitment Session and other educational and social events that we recently announced through February for LGBT History Month.”