Hertfordshire Constabulary has ranked 119 in Stonewall’s national Workplace Equality Index, putting the force in the top 30 per cent of the 415 nationwide employers that took part.
The Stonewall Index is an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff across the country. The Index recognises the top 100 employers and, although the force did not make the top list, it was not far off climbing a total of 83 places from 202 which was achieved in 2015’s audit.
The list is compiled from submissions to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to create inclusive workplaces. Now in its twelfth year, the list celebrates the pioneering efforts of leading organisations to create inclusive workplaces.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary and all of those organisations that take part in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index demonstrate a real commitment to create inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees and stakeholders.
“Stonewall is delighted to work with such a passionate group of diverse organisations, whose hard work is truly helping us to transform institutions, and work towards a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.”
The 2016 submission attracted the highest number of entries since the Index first opened in 2005. Each entrant compiles a submission demonstrating their organisation’s performance against a set of best practice criteria. Entrants must supply supporting evidence where necessary to prove that this work is underway.
The criteria explores ten areas of employment policy and practice including employee policy, training, employee network groups, all-staff engagement, career development, line managers, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.
The policing team responsible for the Constabulary’s submission this year includes members of the force’s LGBT support group Acting Sergeant Steven Alison, PC Mark Smith, Sergeant Kim Seddon, Learning and Development Manager Claire Parsons, Force Lead for Sexual Orientation Superintendent Matthew Nicholls and Deputy Lead for Sexual Orientation Inspector Jason Thorne.
Superintendent Matthew Nicholls, the Constabulary’s lead for Sexual Orientation, said: “We are very pleased with our ranking in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. We have been working hard to ensure we are continually improving our support to our LGBT staff and officers and are providing an inclusive workplace. The fact that we have climbed 83 places and are in the top 30 per cent is a huge achievement, but there is more work for us to do and we aim to improve on this even further next year.
“As force lead for Sexual Orientation, I believe that we can maximise the potential of our staff by valuing difference in each other and allowing everyone to feel comfortable to be themselves no matter what their sexual orientation. I am determined to ensure this continues to resonate across the Constabulary and will work closely alongside the force’s LGBT support group to achieve this.
“It is so important that our workforce is reflective of the communities we serve so we can ensure we are aware of the issues that face them to support them effectively enough. We will be working hard over the coming months to ensure we are continually improving and I hope that anyone from the LGBT community who is considering employment with the Constabulary will be reassured by this year’s result.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, said: “I am impressed with how the Constabulary has increased its Stonewall Workplace Equality Index positioning.
“We recognise the value of having a diverse workforce that represents the communities we serve and I am pleased to see the force intends to keep focusing on how it supports and develops LGBT staff and officers to improve upon this even further. I will ensure that this does happen so the force continues to be an attractive prospect for future employees no matter what their sexual orientation.”