Britain’s leading charity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights has placed Croydon Council just outside its top 100 employers to work for.
Each year Stonewall assesses employers and employees from organisations nationwide on how inclusive their workplaces are on LGBT issues, and the 2018 results have placed Croydon Council in the top 30% of the 434 organisations that took part.
The index compiles information about 10 areas of each participating organisation’s employment policies and practices, accompanied by an anonymous staff survey about how inclusive and diverse they think their organisation is.
The council has an active LGBT network who participate in the annual Croydon Pride event, the capital’s biggest such celebration outside central London, which will be held this year on 14 July in Wandle Park. It has also developed a managers’ handbook for supporting LGBT staff, and in 2016/17 Croydon chose its first openly-gay mayor, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, and lesbian chief executive, Jo Negrini.
The Stonewall results coincide with the start of 2018’s LGBT history month for February, which Croydon is celebrating with this year’s theme of geography by looking at the status of LGBT people around the world.
Events include a musical civic launch hosted by the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Toni Letts, the QueerBee Film Festival, an exhibition in the Central Library, and a talk on Sanderstead LGBT activist Peter Wells.
Croydon Council leader Councillor Tony Newman said: “Our rising position on Stonewall’s index underlines how this council values our diverse staff, and it’s especially important because we know that prospective employees already check our Stonewall rating to be sure Croydon is a welcoming place to work. This significant progress is a real credit to Councillor Mark Watson, who for many years has driven a higher profile for Croydon’s LGBT community.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “These results are really encouraging and reflect the success of our LGBT network, whose work alongside our other staff networks both celebrates our employees’ diversity and enables us to meet the diverse needs of our residents. These results stand us in great stead to make Stonewall’s top 100 next year.”
Andrew Curtis, chair of Croydon Council’s LGBT staff network, said: “I am proud that this submission has showcased the many examples of good practice here in Croydon. Given that our overall score was only 11 points away from being in the top 100, I look forward to continuing the momentum to improve our practice for 2019.”
For more information on Croydon LGBT history month, visit the council website.