Sheffield City Council has been named as one of the top ten local authorities for tackling anti-LGBT bullying and celebrating difference in schools by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall in its annual Education Equality Index.
28 councils took part in the national initiative which showcases how well each local authority celebrates difference and supports LGBT young people in school and their local community.
Sheffield Council was also named one of the most inclusive employers in Britain in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list for 2019. Sheffield City Council has placed 61st on this year’s list.
The competition for this years Top 100 was the largest ever with 445 employers entering, demonstrating their commitment to LGBT workplace inclusion.
As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture and diversity. An overwhelming 93 per cent of non-LGBT employees who responded to the survey, say they understand why their employer is committed to LGBT equality.
Councillor Olivia Blake, Deputy Leader of SCC, said: “I’m delighted that we have ranked so highly in Stonewall’s education and workplace indexes for 2018.
“We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within the organisation and across the city and the Index is an important way of measuring our progress on LGBT equality in the workplace and in our schools.
“I am extremely proud of the work we have undertaken over the last 12 months. Our Equality Champions project has continued to grow and through it we have shared the powerful stories of some of our LGBT staff and allies.
“We continue to support Pride Sheffield and Pinknic, along with celebrating LGBT History Month, which are important events that bring people together to celebrate the diversity that makes Sheffield such a great city.
“Our vision is for Sheffield to be the fairest city in Britain, where all people feel included regardless of their age, race, gender, sexuality or ability. We have come a long way and we will continue to build on this success so that everyone feels accepted in our city.”
Last year, Stonewall released research that revealed more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity.
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Sheffield City Council and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people.
“More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do. However, with organisations like Sheffield City Council displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”
Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.
Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.