Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
Every other year, the University takes part in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI), a benchmarking tool that evaluates our initiatives and helps us better understand the challenges of creating an inclusive working environment for LGBTQ+ employees.
Stonewall is a charity promoting equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Questioning and Ace (LGBTQ+) people.
The University works closely with Stonewall through its Diversity Champions Programme which is a good practice employers’ forum for building LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
For our latest submisison, for 2023, we achieved the Stonewall Silver Award.
We have also been ranked 143 out of all those that took part this year, our highest ranking to date.
Our feedback from the WEI will now help inform the action plan for the Sexual Orientation Equality Group (SOEG) as well as help inform the activity of our LGBTQ+ Staff Network.
For more information on the feedback for our latest submission and how we are seeking to implement it, please visit our dedicated pages here, or via the sidebar.
We have put together an FAQ for our work with the WEI and with Stonewall more broadly below.
Once we have submitted to the WEI, The EDI Team receive a written report with feedback, and a meeting to further discuss it. This feedback and outcome of the discusison is then brought to fora such as the Sexual Orientation Equality Group and the LGBTQ+ Staff Network. We use the WEI as a guide to help us inform our LGBTQ+ inclusion work and priorities, but it is neither the sole source for actions on our action plan, nor do we always act as suggested by Stonewall, if in these discussions we disagree with their approach as it relates to our other work, priorities or context.
Actions that are generated from this feedback process are added to our SOEG action plan, and may also be used to inform other action plans, such as the Gender Equality Group, the plans of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, Trans Cafe, or other relevant groups or networks. These will then be actioned and their progress monitored in line with the work of that group, and our progress on these and other areas can be part of our next submission.
The Stonewall WEI is only one of several sourcces that helps us generate our action plan in this area.
We are keen to use Stonewall's expertise to help guide our work, but think it is important to only take on the actions that are right for us and to drive forward our LGBTQ+ equality work based on input and expertise from our community here in the University. As with all of ourEDI accreditations, we use the WEI as a framework and tool to help us drive forward positive change.
In the interest of transparency and accountability, we are producing a webpage collating the feedback we have received and the actions this has generated as part of our Sexual Orientation Equality Group action plan. You can access our LGBTQ+ Action Plan page here, or via the sidebar.
The University has been a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme since 2012. We engage regularly (every 2 years) with the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) as one way of measuring our equality progress for LGBTQ+ communities at the University. As an institution, we remain supportive of continuing to receive guidance from Stonewall as one ‘critical friend’ among many, and this is a decision that has been taken in consultation with staff and student networks, as well as our Sexual Orientation and Gender Equality Groups. We do not take guidance exclusively from Stonewall and we work with a number of internal and external partners to inform our Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality agendas.
We currently have no plans to disengage with Stonewall. Our engagement with the organisation is reviewed regularly and will continue to be discussed in various fora, including Equality Groups and staff networks. We also continue to endeavour to take into account views of staff and students who may not be members of relevant networks, groups and societies. Our engagement with Stonewall is aligned to our engagement with other accreditation providers, such as Advance HE, and the work is underpinned by requirements outlined in legislation such as the Equality Act 2010. We continue to consider advice on best practice from a range of internal and external sources.
The University pays an annual subscription fee of £2,500 to Stonewall to participate in their Diversity Champions Programme. Participation in the WEI is part of this programme, and does not incur a separate cost.
We are open to the possibility of supporting the undertaking of training or similar opportunities offered by Stonewall (which are discounted to us as Diversity Champions members).
This is regularly reviewed in conversation with our LGBTQ+ Staff Networks and with the Sexual Orientation Equality Group.
From 2024 we will be submitting to the Stonewall WEI on a biennial basis. Prior to this, submissions were made annually. The purpose of moving to biennial submision is to provide more time to engage with the feedback provided by Stonewall and to drive forward positive change for our LGBTQ+ community in a more meaningful and impactful way. This change does not affect our relationship with Stonewall, or our ongoing commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion (including trans and non-binary inclusion).