From education to employment

Fujitsu named in Stonewall’s 2019 Top Employer List for Fourth Year

Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Fujitsu EMEIA

Eighteen higher education institutions based in England, Scotland and Wales have made the Top 100 Employers list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.

Today (21 Jan) it was announced that Fujitsu has been placed 34th in the 2019 Stonewall Top Employer List for LGBT+ inclusion. Climbing 66 spaces in 2019, this is the fourth consecutive year Fujitsu has appeared in the list.

Ben O’Reilly, Head of DTS UK & Ireland and Executive Sponsor of Fujitsu’s LGBT+ Network, Shine, said:

“It’s an honour to be named in Stonewall’s 2019 Top Employer List for LGBT+ inclusion. We want to ensure that Fujitsu is a place where everyone can thrive. In recent years we have focused on raising awareness of LGBT+ issues and shaping more inclusive processes, especially in recruitment and procurement. Our Shine LGBT+ Network – an internal inclusive group, open to all employees –  has been pivotal in shaping and implementing a strategy to enable us to create this environment.”

The list – which is based on Stonewall’s extensive Workplace Equality Index – is a definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organisation also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work.

Organisations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed. The 100 best-performing organisations are celebrated publicly.

“This is a huge achievement for Fujitsu, particularly in light of the inclusion spotlight which has been put on the tech sector,” said Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Fujitsu EMEIA.

“For us to create tech solutions which are inclusive and empower the LGBT+ community, we need to create inclusive workplaces where LGBT+ talent can be completely themselves in work and ultimately thrive. To achieve this goal, we need to ensure that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for our workforce and is enabled by inclusive environments for all our people.”

“By highlighting the importance of LGBT+ inclusion in the tech sector and taking actions to create an inclusive environment, we hope to encourage other organisations to ensure that everyone can be completely themselves at work, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT+ inclusion is not an issue that can be fixed instantly; it is something we must all continue to strive towards.”

Cardiff University remains the top performing Education Institution for the fourth consecutive year at number 11, followed by University of Manchester in position 20 and Manchester Metropolitan University at 22.

Cardiff University, along with Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Sheffield (23) and Swansea University (47) receive special commendations as some of the UK’s top-trans inclusive employers.

Cardiff University continues to roll out its inclusive curriculum project to more departments, including the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of Engineering. The University also have sexual orientation and gender identity champions on their executive board, who are being reverse mentored by members of the staff LGBT network.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University, said:

‘I am absolutely delighted we’ve risen to 11th place in the Stonewall Top 100 list. The success is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of many members of staff across the University and a visible statement to prospective and current staff and students that LGBT equality really matters.’

Karen Cooke, Chair of ENFYS, Cardiff University’s staff LGBT+ network, said: ‘To feature at number 11 in the Top 100 out of 445 organisations is an achievement that everyone who wears their rainbow lanyard, puts up their Friends of ENFYS sign, supports colleagues and students or is able to be themselves at work should be proud of. I want to particularly thank our student LGBT+ officers and student LGBT+ community who we have the pleasure to work with and are as much a part of this success as our staff are.’

Swansea University has continued its support of trans staff, embedded LGBT+ equality into all staff and line manager training, alongside building strong links to local LGBT+ community groups.

De Montfort University is the sector’s highest climber, surging ahead 30 positions to land at 31 (61 in 2018).

The highest new entry to this year’s Index is University of South Wales (43), with University of Brighton (72), University of Reading (80), City of Glasgow College (81), London School of Economics and Political Science (92), University of Oxford (93) and Cardiff Metropolitan University (95) also joining the list for the first time.

Professor Julie Lydon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Wales, said:

‘USW is so proud to have risen 61 places in the Stonewall Top 100 and to now be ranked 43rd out of 445 inclusive employers. The Index features organisations across the UK that are doing pioneering work to become inclusive employers, so it is an exceptional achievement for us to be placed within the Top 50.

‘We feel this really shows that USW is an inclusive place to work, with a clear commitment to furthering LGBT+ equality across all our policies and practices. Our LGBT+ staff network, LGBT+ role models and LGBT+ allies work with so much energy and enthusiasm to engage with staff and students and implement innovative initiatives to promote LGBT+ equality and I’m thrilled we have received this recognition of their hard work and commitment.’

Ray Vincent, University of South Wales’ Associate Chaplain, was also named the 2019 Gay Role Model of the Year by Stonewall.

Commenting on his award win, Ray said:

‘Being a role model doesn’t necessarily mean being a specially virtuous or courageous person! I think its chief function in the multi-cultural environment of a university is to reassure anyone with doubts that it’s OK to be gay. At the same time, I feel challenged to be more visible and to work harder to encourage and help people to be who they are.

‘As a Christian minister, I am very much aware of the pain caused to LGBT people by the attitude of many people in the churches – I have felt it keenly myself, and I deeply regret that this is still the experience of many today. But the Christian community is very diverse, and I am thankful for all those Christians who have supported me and who go on loving me just as I am.’

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: ‘We are incredibly proud to be part of Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers and to be recognised for our progress advancing LGBT+ equality. We are dedicated to nurturing a diverse community, including being a University of choice for LGBT+ staff and students and honouring the vibrant LGBT+ community within our region.

‘In the last year, we launched our LGBT+ Allies Programme and brought together LGBT+ staff, students and allies in our biggest Brighton and Hove Community Pride Parade presence. We have utilised the power of partnerships, hosting the Annual Brighton Trans, Non-Binary and Intersex Conference and taking part in the #MyPronounsAre campaign, which raised awareness of gender identity in Brighton and Hove and beyond.

‘We understand that, regardless of location, there is no room for complacency. Advancing LGBT+ equality is everyone’s business and takes concerted effort and leadership across an institution to remove the barriers that persist for LGBT+ people.’

Completing the list is Teesside University (47), Newham College of Further Education (56), University of Leicester (72), Aberystwyth University (79), and University of Essex (93).

Karen Bush, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Essex, said: ‘We are delighted to be named in the Stonewall Top 100 for the third time, as we have worked hard to create an LGBT+ inclusive culture at the University of Essex.

‘As well as enabling staff to identify as non-binary, we have introduced diversity champions and provided safe forums where staff can share experiences, support each other and contribute to developing inclusive policies.

‘We are now moving into a new phase of work, which places as much emphasis on how people behave as it does on policy and process. We will continue to raise awareness of LGBT issues and will support staff to challenge inappropriate behaviour.’

This year’s Top 100 was the most competitive ever with 445 employers vying for a coveted spot.

Last year, Stonewall released research that showed 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.

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said:

‘All these higher education organisations who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list have done a wonderful job. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people. With so many organisations displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.’

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