University soars up Workplace Equality ranking

The University of Manchester has gone up from 41st to 16th in the UK and has been named a top ten trans employer in the latest Stonewall Workplace Equality Index - an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.

Run by Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, the Workplace Equality Index is free to enter for any employer and 434 employers submitted entries to the 2018 Index, across the public, private and third sectors.

As part of the Index there is a staff feedback questionnaire that participating employers can ask their staff to complete. This year Stonewall received over 92,000 responses to the staff survey making it one of the largest national employment surveys in Britain.

At Manchester many activities are run by the ALLOUT staff network which co-ordinates events and works with the University on policy development and review. This year the group has been specially selected by Stonewall for a Highly Commended Network Group Award.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner at The University of Manchester, Paul Marks-Jones is responsible for compiling the University’s entry and working with the staff network. He said: “This improved ranking is not just a testament to the guidance, polices and support the University provides, but also to the efforts of the many staff who, through our networks and events, contribute constant feedback, support and awareness-raising activities.

“All of this ensures the University a place where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are an important and valued part of the workforce.”

In achieving its top trans employer status the University is being recognised by Stonewall for a range of activities which include:

  • Guidance for staff and students who are transitioning
  • Half day face-to-face training sessions (Transfer: a Journey) piloted and rolled out to management level
  • Staff and students provided with free voice and communication workshops for people identifying as trans
  • Celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) annually since 2013 with the raising of the Trans flag and awareness raising activities
  • A campus gender-neutral toilet map which features on the interactive map for staff, students and visitors

Director of Human Resources at The University of Manchester, Karen Heaton, said: “This is excellent news. The University of Manchester has consistently been moving up in the Index over the last few years and to be ranked as one of the country’s top trans employer this year is a great recognition of the commitment we have shown to providing a diverse and welcoming workplace.”

Darren Towers, Executive Director, Stonewall said: “The University of Manchester and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list have done a fantastic job. Taking part in our Index shows real commitment to understanding and advancing LGBT equality.

“This year, for the first time, the Index looked at what employers were doing for trans equality in the workplace. This work is crucial. We recently published LGBT in Britain: Trans Report, which revealed the profound inequality facing trans people in Britain today. This must change and it’s encouraging to see so many organisations make a commitment to trans equality.”

The University will be running a range of events and activities to celebrate LGBT history month in February. For more information, see the dedicated webpage.

The full Workplace Equality Index 2018 is available on the Stonewall website.

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