Conference to promote LGBT equality
The conference, taking place at the Rose Bowl, brings together senior business leaders, HR and diversity professionals, employers and staff from across the country who are committed to making the working environment more welcoming for everyone.
This year’s event will see 200 guests hear from 40 speakers, sharing best practice about LGBT policies. Speakers include former Capital FM Yorkshire DJ Stephanie Hirst, who has spoken in the past about the positive support she received from her employers when undergoing gender reassignment.
Sessions held throughout the day include: devising effective diversity and inclusion strategies; exploring religion and ethnicity; role models and authentic leadership; effectively supporting transgender staff; and the critical role of LGBT allies.
Andrew Disbury, Corporate Management Team Champion at our University and Chair of the Rainbow Rose Forum, said: "We are very proud to be the venue for the Stonewall Workplace Conference. LGBT equality is very important to our University; and our work with Stonewall is helping us develop both our own Rainbow Rose network, and our understanding of ourselves as an employer, a university and as part of our community."
Stonewall’s research shows that 18 per cent of Yorkshire LGBT staff are out in the workplace, compared to 29 per cent in the North West, and that many LGBT staff feel demoralised and isolated.
Josh Willacy, Stonewall’s client account manager for Yorkshire, said: “It can be a really demoralising and isolating experience if you feel you can’t be yourself with your colleagues in the workplace. Employers can help by creating a safe space for people to talk, having a positive network group in place, connecting with community groups and by monitoring so they know whether there are LGBT staff in the workforce.”
In January this year, our University was recognised for its commitment to promoting the rights of LGBT staff and students by entering the top 100 British employers in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for the first time at number 51: a rise in 117 places from last year’s ranking. The index represents Stonewall’s nationally-recognised league table of gay-friendly employers.