Oxfordshire County Council commended as inclusive employer

Oxfordshire County Council is proudly listed in this year’s national Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2020 which features the UK’s most inclusive employers.

The index, provided by national equality charity Stonewall, is used as a benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on inclusion for: lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT+) people, in the workplace and for the communities they serve.

The local authority has been included for the second time, ranking at 127 out of 503 organisations, moving up 93 places from the first submission in 2019. The Stonewall badge can now be displayed on premises to show that the employer is inclusive, approachable and supportive for colleagues.

To achieve this ranking the local authority showcased great inclusion work across the council and the county to establish staff networks, raise awareness with inclusive lanyards, and support community groups and projects.

Participating organisations must demonstrate their efforts in 10 areas including employment, policy and practice, including leadership, staff networks, customer service and procurement.

The Fostering Service, Registry Service, Libraries, Public Health and the Sensory Impairment team, along with Community Safety Services including Fire & Rescue, were all highlighted and commended.

Council Chief Executive Yvonne Rees says: I’m delighted to represent and work for an organisation where everyone has the confidence to be themselves and be proud of it. To have this officially recognised by Stonewall is encouraging and demonstrates the ongoing commitment we have to create an inclusive and diverse working environment, for everyone”.

As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, the council have lots to celebrate and build upon. The positive news is well received as wider celebrations begin for February’s LGBT History Month, which this year reflects on the poetry, prose and plays of our history. Throughout February the council will be flying the rainbow flag at County Hall and Fire Headquarters, in support of our diverse identities and communities that work across all offices in Oxfordshire.

Staff will be focusing on LGBT+ history and personalities and getting involved with the challenge to investigate different identities, each week and learn something new and raise awareness.

Additional activity is planned to participate in the annual Oxford Pride event on 30th May 2020, and inclusion events across the county throughout the year.

For further information: https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/

Pictured left to right with the bisexual flag at the Invisible Inclusion Day: Paul Devilin - Chair of Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Lily Crozier - an advocate for identity and visibility from the University of Roehampton, Yvonne Rees -Chief Executive at Oxfordshire County Council, Claire Taylor - Corporate Director Customers and Eunan O'Neill - Consultant in Public Health