The National Assembly for Wales has been recognised as the 2018 UK leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the latest Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

The Assembly is the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people, makes laws for Wales, agrees Welsh taxes and holds the Welsh Government to account.

It’s the first time the Assembly has topped the list and comes ten years after it first entered the index. Since then it has steadily worked its way up and has featured in the top ten for the past four years.

Stonewall also highly commended the Assembly’s work in promoting recognising and supporting transgender equality, citing it as one of only 11 exemplar organisations in the UK.

Stonewall Top 100In addition, the Assembly’s LGBT workplace network, OUTNAW, has been recognised as a Highly Commended Network Group and the Assembly has achieved the status of a Star Performer organisation because of their consistently excellent performance in the index.

Elin Jones, llywydd of the Assembly, says: “We are truly honoured to be recognised by Stonewall as the leading employer in the UK for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“We are proud to support our LGBT staff network and continue to work to create an inclusive culture – not only for the people who work here but for the people we represent across all Wales’ diverse communities.

“As Wales’ parliament, it is right that we should lead by example to demonstrate what can be achieved with the right attitudes, leadership and determination.

“This is not only great for the Assembly, it’s also good news for staff in the many other Welsh organisations represented in the top 100 employers. This demonstrates that Wales clearly understands the value of inclusive policy and service delivery and I congratulate them all.”

LGBTHM AM and staff flag photo (3)Joyce Watson, Assembly commissioner with responsibility for diversity and inclusion, says: “This is a wonderful achievement which comes on the tenth anniversary of the Assembly first being recognised in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

“It is a testament to the dedication of our staff, in particular our diversity and inclusion team, for embracing and ingraining LGBT equality in all aspects of our work representing the people of Wales.”

The Assembly has in place a number of policies and activities promoting diversity and inclusion, including:

  • The annual celebration of LGBT History Month and International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
  • Attendance at Cardiff Pride and Swansea Sparkle events
  • The introduction of gender neutral toilet and shower facilities for staff and visitors
  • Embedding Equality Impact Assessments in corporate policies such as the mental health policy for staff
  • Developed inclusive policies such as our Transitioning at Work policy and guidance on supporting non-binary people.
  • Provision of trans awareness training and a range of training interventions on supporting LGBT staff
  • Provision of peer support through the LGBT workplace equality network, OUT-NAW.

No Bystanders Llywydd and Joyce (3)Where next for the Assembly?

Going forward the Assembly will continue to work with Stonewall and other organisations in Wales and across the UK to support and further LGBT equality. Their success in the index will mean that it continues to share best practice with many organisations and be an exemplary employer and parliamentary body. The Assembly is currently planning events with Stonewall in terms of how it can share its experiences and resources with others in an effective way.

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