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Stonewall Workplace Equality Index shows Civil Service is falling behind on LGBT diversity

Stonewall today released the results of the 2016 Workplace Equality Index; a league table of the 100 most inclusive employers for LGBT people in the UK.

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By Civil Service Rainbow Alliance

Stonewall today released the results of the 2016 Workplace Equality Index; a league table of the 100 most inclusive employers for LGBT people in the UK.

A number of UK Civil Service organisations feature in the Index. MI5 – one of the Civil Service’s security agencies – has secured first place in the index. It’s sister organisation, MI6 also features in the Top 100, along with the Welsh Civil Service, the Office of National Statistics and a number of other agencies. The Home Office has retained Stonewall Star Performer status, having featured in the Top 10 for 3 of the last 5 years, but is now the only central Government Department to feature anywhere in the Index.

Commenting on the release of the results, Oliver Entwistle, CSRA Chair, said, “It’s great to see so several parts of the Civil Service featuring highly in the Workplace Equality Index this year. It’s a testament to the hard work of volunteers in departmental networks across government that their employers remain in the Top 100.

“Congratulations to MI5 and the other agencies featuring highly in the Index this year. They are a shining of example of how Civil Service organisations can actively support their LGBT staff.”

“It’s encouraging to see some departments and agencies continue to carry the banner for Civil Service LGBT inclusivity; but the Civil Service shouldn’t become complacent,” CSRA Vice-Chair, Kate Scott-Hughes, commented. “These departments prove that you get out what you put in when it comes to diversity. Those departments that are taking LGBT diversity seriously are reaping the benefits. Now we need to see that effort replicated everywhere in the Civil Service.”

The release of today’s results has also shown a number of departments and agencies falling down the rankings, or out of the Top 100 entirely.

In 2015, CSRA worked with Ben Summerskill to produce a report - Don’t ask, don’t tell - into the experiences of LGBT staff in the Civil Service. The report was the latest evidence that highlighted the need to invest in LGBT networks across the Civil Service, as well as the barriers to participation in diversity networks faced by LGBT staff. CSRA had previously published research showing similar findings.

“There’s strong support at senior levels for making the Civil Service more inclusive as an employer,” commented Ollie Entwistle. “But we need to turn this support into real action. We used to be leading the way, now we are now falling behind other sectors. It is time to stop that decline. The Civil Service needs to provide additional support and resources for LGBT networks across government.”

CSRA will be working with departments and agencies to analyse the results of the Index over the coming weeks, and understand what action needs to be taken to support LGBT staff in the future.

The full results of the Workplace Equality Index can be found on Stonewall’s website.

Civil Service organisations featuring in the Top 100 Employers List 2016

Rank Organisation
1 MI5
17 Welsh Government
25 Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service
36 MI6
36 Office for National Statistics
40 Financial Conduct Authority
61 Land Registry
72 Environment Agency
91 National Crime Agency