Stonewall rates Council as top employer

19 January 2017

Cheshire West and Chester Council is celebrating after making it into Stonewall’s Top 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly organisations for the first time.  

Cheshire West and Cheshire Council takes part in Stonewall’s annual Workplace Equality Index to measure and drive work on equality and inclusion. The index assesses public, private and third sector organisations from across the country, including some of the UK’s, and the world’s, largest and most successful firms. Stonewall is a national organisation that works to achieve equality for LGBT people. 
 
There were 439 submissions to the index this year and it was a particularly strong year for good practice, with the benchmark rising yet again to reach the prestigious list of Top 100 Employers.  
 
Councillor Paul Donovan, Cabinet Member for Democracy and Workforce, said: “We are delighted to be further recognised for our work on equality and diversity. This reflects a great deal of hard work by our elected members and staff who are committed to ensuring that all colleagues feel able to be themselves at work and help to make our communities more inclusive.” The Council has worked hard to make improvements following last year when they were 171st out of the 415 organisations which entered. Notable strengths include the highly successful allies scheme, support from senior managers and elected members, additional staff training, effective partnership work and changes to a range of policies and procedures. Visibility has also increased, including extensive presence at community events such as Chester Pride. As a result of this, the Council has risen almost 100 places to 75th in the index.
 
Chief Executive Gerald Meehan said: “This is a real honour and reflects the progress we’ve made around LGBT equality, which means the organisation is better placed to respond to the issues faced by its employees and the LGBT community. Our staff, visitors and residents come from all walks of life. For LGBT employees, knowing that the organisation and colleagues will support them to be themselves means they can focus on the job.”

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