A BENCHMARKING tool from a leading equality campaigner has seen the University of Reading become one of the UK’s top employers.
The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) was published earlier this week and the Earley-based institution has been placed 80th out of the 445 companies taking part in the survey looking at how welcoming they are for LGBT+ people.
In a statement, Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the University Executive Board’s LGBT+ Champion, said: “The Stonewall WEI is a great benchmarking tool to help us think through how we can make the University the most welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment it can be for our LGBT+ staff and students.
“This is the third year that we have made substantial progress in these rankings, reflecting work that makes a difference by very many individuals across the University.
“It’s fantastic that this effort is now publicly recognised by our move into Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers, moving close to the challenging target that the University has set of Top 50 in the rankings by 2020.”
To scoop the top 100 positioning, the university has undertaken a number of initiatives including senior leadership taking part in public ceremonies for Trans Day of Remembrance, and the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
The University’s LGBT Plus network, co-chaired by Alina Tryfonidou and Allán Laville, played an important role in shaping the submission.
Professor Tryfonidou said: “I’m extremely pleased with this impressive result. Having an almost 60-place improvement, which has brought us up to the Stonewall’s top 100 LGBT+ inclusive employers, demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to the LGBT+ community of its staff and students.”
Nozomi Tolworthy, Reading University Students’ Union Diversity Officer, added: “I’m delighted to have received this good news at the start of the new year.
“This really demonstrates our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming campus for everyone, as a place to study and as a place to work.
“I look forward to working on more campaigns and initiatives jointly with the University of Reading and seeing our exciting ideas for LGBT+ History Month coming to life.”