Newcastle becomes first council to top list of LGBT-inclusive employers

A council has become the first local authority to be named the most inclusive employer by an LGBT equality charity.

Newcastle City Council topped a list of 100 employers drawn up by Stonewall, claiming top spot for its commitment to equality.

The council was praised for a number of events, including a so-called Seven Days of Pride campaign, Bi Visibility Day and Trans Day of Remembrance.

Housing association Gentoo Group was second, followed by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, while 16 organisations in the list were from the education sector, and 15 from the legal profession.

Sainsbury’s was the only supermarket in the list.

Sanjay Sood-Smith, Stonewall’s executive director, said: “We spend most of our lives at work, so getting workplace inclusion right makes a huge difference in the lives of so many LGBT people.

“Every year, our list of the top 100 employers shows us who’s leading the way when it comes to creating a work environment where LGBT people can thrive and be themselves in the UK.

“Newcastle City Council is paving the way for others to follow when it comes to putting LGBT inclusion and equality at the heart of their workplace. When staff feel comfortable, happy and understood, they will perform much better than if they’re having to hide who they are, or if they’re scared to go to work for fear of abuse.

“Whether you’re a global corporation or a local business, you have the power to protect and support LGBT people with accepting workplace environments where staff can bring their full selves to work.

“The more organisations that stand up for equality, the sooner we will live in a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Joyce McCarty, deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I’m incredibly proud that our commitment to inclusivity has been recognised with this accolade.

“But this is really an award for everybody in our city who shows us every day that we are all equal and that our great city accepts everyone. Newcastle is a safe and welcoming city and the North East in general does a great deal to champion the LGBT community.”

The report is based on responses from more than 109,000 workers on their experience of the UK’s workplace culture and diversity.

Four out of five LGBT employees who responded to the survey said they felt able to be themselves in the workplace.

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