Leeds Beckett has entered the top 100 British employers for the first time at 51; a rise in 117 places from last year’s ranking of 168 in Stonewall’s nationally-recognised league table of gay-friendly employers.
Speaking about the news, Leeds Beckett Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price, said: “We are delighted to have been named in Stonewall’s top 100 and this outcome reflects a sustained programme of work and continued activity around the LGBT agenda at our University.
“We’ve been an active advocate and member organisation of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for several years and our commitment to promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans staff and students is part of our wider diversity agenda. Achieving a place in the Stonewall Top 100 will further promote our profile as an inclusive place to work and study and is a valuable quality accreditation that sits well alongside our Investors in People Gold Status and Customer Service Excellence charter mark. We are also currently participating in the Equality Challenge Unit’s trial of the Race Equality Charter Mark which is due to be submitted later this year.”
Simon Feeke, Director of Workplace Programmes at Stonewall said: "Leeds Beckett University and every single employer who secured a position on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2015 list performed remarkably this year. Competition has never been fiercer and the new criteria this year has pushed all of the Top 100 to work harder than ever before.”
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was named as 2015’s top gay-friendly employer; in second place was Tower Hamlets Homes and Lloyds Banking Group were ranked third in the list. On the fifteenth anniversary of the repeal of the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual people serving in the military, all three of the armed forces appear on the list for the first time with MI5 taking seventh place.
Andrew Disbury, Director of the International Office at Leeds Beckett and senior LGBT champion, added: “Last year we rose 61 places in the index to 168, and this year we set ourselves the strategic goal of entering the Top 100 employers. This has involved working across our University on three key areas of feedback from the 2014 index: collection and monitoring of data; community engagement; and developing the role of senior champion in the organisation.
“I am delighted and proud to see that all the work we have done during the year has paid off, and that we have achieved our goal and are at an extremely creditable position of 51! I think this truly reflects life at our University, and the commitment we have from our Vice Chancellor and everyone in our organisation to an equal workplace for all.”
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall Chief Executive said: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and every employer featured in the 2015 Top 100 have performed remarkably. Not only was this the most competitive year to date, we’re delighted to see that in just fifteen years our armed forces are making real progress in supporting and developing their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.”
The Top 100 list is based on the results of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2015, the eleventh published by the charity. The Index is based on a range of key indicators which include a confidential questionnaire of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, with over 9,700 participants. This consistently revealed that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 exhibited higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty.
Leeds Beckett was also Highly Commended in the Network Group of the Year award category, recognising the sterling efforts of the LGBT forum in advancing representation of LGBT people within the University.
For further information on the Workplace Equality Index visit stonewall.org.uk or follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #WEI2015
Leeds Beckett University is the only university in the UK to have achieved both the Customer Service Excellence standard, Investors in People Gold and the RoSPA Gold medal. In December, the University celebrated its growing reputation for research following its best ever assessment results from the UK wide Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF is an assessment of university research activity which is used to determine funding in coming years for universities across the country in a range of subject areas.