Ross Davies, Diversity and Inclusion Manager

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people perform better when they can be themselves. We all know that organisations perform better when people are comfortable and safe at work, where they do not have to hide any part of their identity. Providing an inclusive environment allows individuals to thrive and rewards the organisation with people who want to work there and, arguably more important, people who want to stay there.

So, what have we done to support and promote LGBTQ+ inclusion? Well, let me start by introducing our organisation. 

The Welsh Parliament (formally known as the National Assembly for Wales) is the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people. Commonly known as the Senedd, it makes laws for Wales, agrees Welsh taxes, and holds the Welsh Government to account. 

The Senedd Commission serves the Senedd to help facilitate its long-term success as a strong, accessible, inclusive, and forward-looking parliament. At the Senedd Commission, we want to be an employer of choice for all, supporting a parliament that engages with and represents everyone in Wales. 

Our corporate values of PridePassion and Respect reflect our commitment to inclusion, as does our record as an award-winning inclusive organisation. We have been recognised by Stonewall as one of the top employers in the UK for LGBTQ+ people for a number of years, including being named as their top employer in the UK in 2018, as well as winning awards for our LGBTQ+ network, ally of the year, senior champion, and trans inclusion. We have also been named as the Top Public Sector Employer by Pink News

Over many years, we have provided lots of training to our staff and promoted LGBTQ+ inclusion internally and externally. Our active and visible network, role models and allies have all helped to ensure that our LGBTQ+ colleagues have the opportunity to thrive in a safe environment. We have worked hard to develop a culture where people can bring their full identities to work, where any negative behaviour can be challenged and effectively dealt with. We do not tolerate any bullying, harassment, or discrimination on our site.  

We take great pride in celebrating LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion throughout the year, raising awareness of the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community through a range of events and resources. We have looked at many topics affecting members of the community including mental health, parenting, religion, and the intersection of being LGBTQ+ and from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic background. 

Going forward, we will continue to fly the flag for LGBTQ+ inclusion, celebrating our LGBTQ+ siblings and doing what we can to be the best employer and the best parliament that we can be. 

Elin Jones

Elin Jones MS, Presiding Officer of the Senedd, said:

“The Senedd has diversity and inclusion at the very heart of its role representing the people of Wales. We are proud to 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. 

“Perhaps now more than ever we need a society that is diverse, cohesive and respectful of each other. The Senedd is proud to be a leader in this regard and we will continue our efforts to be an exemplar inclusive organisation.”

Lisa, Co-Chair of PLWS, our LGBTQ+ network

“It’s incredibly important to me to be visible at work.  We spend too much time at work to constantly have to check what you say and how you act for fear of the reaction. I’ve been there, it’s exhausting. From a workplace cultural perspective, if we truly want to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion, visibility helps to build this.  It’s important for new people coming into the organisation, or people newly coming out in the organisation, to see people ‘like them’. As co-chair of the LGBTQ+ network it’s also important to be visible so people know who they can contact for support and advice”. 

Matthew Richards

Matthew, our Head of Legal Service and Senior LGBTQ+ Champion has said: 

“When I started work in 1997, it was unthinkable to be an openly LGBTQ+ person in most office environments. And Wales did not have its own Parliament. How things have changed on both fronts! The visibility and legal rights of our community have transformed. When I came to work at the Senedd in 2013, it was already a place where everyone could be their authentic self at work. The biggest change since then is that we have seen a growing number of openly LGBTQ+ role models here over those years, especially among women. LGBTQ+ people have made massive progress in the last 20 years, but there is always more to do.”  

To find out more about working for the Senedd or to review our current vacancies please visit Senedd.Wales. If you believe that there is more that we should be doing to further promote LGBTQ+ inclusion, please contact Diversity@Senedd.Wales.

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