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YSJ - one of the most inclusive employers in the UK

Category: Award, Stonewall, York St John University, trans community, education, transgender


York St John University is one of the very few UK universities in its Top 20 Trans Employers list for 2020, the university also achieved 49th place on this year’s top 100 Employers list.

This year’s top 100 was the largest ever with 503 employers entering, demonstrating their commitment to LGBT workplace inclusion.

As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 109,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture and diversity. This year, 81 per cent of LGBT employees who responded to the survey said they feel able to be themselves in the workplace.

Dr Amanda Wilcox, university secretary at York St John University said: “I am incredibly proud of our staff and students for making inclusivity and diversity part of everyday life here at York St John University and am delighted to see this recognised by Stonewall.

"It’s testament to the hard work of our LGBT staff network that people know we welcome and value people of diverse identities and backgrounds. We will continue this work to make sure that York St John is a place where people feel confident to be their true selves.”

Stonewall’s 2018 Work Report revealed more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity.

York St John is a main sponsor of York Pride and every year, the university plays an active role in York’s LGBT History Month. As part of a Trans Inclusive Framework, a dedicated student support advisor has enabled trans students to feel more supported, with the number of students making contact rising ten-fold in the past year.

An IAMplify library project aims to increase the voices of the LGBT community in literature and a zero-tolerance approach to homo/bi/transphobic acts has led to improvements to the University’s Report and Support platform to make it easier for students to disclose incidents and get help.

Sanjay Sood-Smith, Stonewall’s Executive Director of Workplace & Community Programmes, said: ‘We are delighted to name York St John University as one of our Top 100 Employers this year. All the organisations in this year’s Top 100 Employer’s list are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people and should be very proud of their work.

‘We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, businesses like York St John University are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.’

Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.

Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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