Brighton and Hove Council fourth most gay-friendly UK employer

Posted On 13 Jan 2010 at 6:21 pm

Brighton and Hove City Council has been rated the fourth most gay-friendly employer in the country.

Gay rights group Stonewall has today published its top 100 employers, which also features Sussex Police at number 34 and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation at 58.

This year 350 employers agreed to be assessed on equality practices within the organisation, practical demonstration of good practice in recruitment and mentoring as well as how the organisation engages with LGB staff and customers.

This year, feedback from more than 7,000 anonymous employee surveys was also considered.

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The council was once again the highest rated local authority in the country, having rated highly last year too.

The report says: “Brighton & Hove City Council ensures that diversity scoring is explicitly addressed in the scorecards for all manager’s performance reviews.

“The council’s diversity training features a module on ‘living in a lesbian and gay world’ to demonstrate to straight colleagues what it is like for LGB people to live in a straight world and workplace.”

Around 15 per cent of the council’s 7,000 staff describe themselves as LGBT – about 1,000 in total. This is a similar proportion to the city as a whole, where 13-17 per cent of its 250,000 population is estimated to be gay.

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Cabinet councillor for community affairs Dee Simson said: “I’m very proud that Britain’s top gay pressure group continues to rate us so highly. Our commitment to equal treatment for all our communities can also now be seen in the new city-wide equalities charter for statutory agencies that we’ve helped put together.”

This year Sussex Police climbed from 92nd place to 34 by setting up a group to allow LGB staff to have a direct input into police culture.

Its Diversity Champion, Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on having a diverse workforce but there is always room for improvement. This year we will continue to learn from other organisations in the Stonewall Index to improve, even further, how we welcome and engage with our LGB staff.”

Chair of Sussex Police Gay Police Association, Insp David Derrick, said: “We are very pleased with the achievement. Climbing 58 places to position 34 is significant. The application is a reflection of Sussex Police’s commitment to LGB staff and a result of direct feedback given to Stonewall from LGB staff.”

IBM came top of the list, with Hampshire Constabulary second and Ernst & Young third.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: “Competition was fiercer than ever to secure a place on the 2010 Top Employers List.

“We received more entries than any previous year from employers who understand and have benefited from Stonewall’s research which found that gay people are far more likely to buy goods or services from companies they know are gay-friendly.

“The Index is a powerful tool used by Britain’s 1.7 million gay employees and 150,000 gay university students to decide where to take their talent and skills.’

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