Stonewall names Welsh Assembly as top LGBT employer

image copyrightWelsh Assembly
image captionAssembly members prepare to fly the flag at the Senedd for LGBT History Month in 2017

The Welsh Assembly has been named as the UK's leading employer of LGBT staff in a workplace equality survey.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of the charity Stonewall, praised the assembly as a "trailblazer" for equality, particularly on transgender rights.

She welcomed "the straightforward, positive actions they have taken".

Presiding Officer Elin Jones said the assembly had "diversity and inclusion at the very heart of its role" and was "truly honoured" by the accolade.

Policies and measures introduced by the assembly include gender neutral toilets and showers and the provision of trans awareness training.

The assembly has also hosted celebrations for LGBT History Month and has been represented at events such as Pride Cymru in Cardiff and Swansea Sparkle.

Ms Hunt praised LGBT-inclusive employers as "a welcome beacon of hope that a positive future is possible", adding that it made "good business sense" if staff felt "comfortable, happy and understood".

image copyrightWelsh Assembly
image captionThe assembly has been represented at events such as Pride Cymru in Cardiff

Andrew White, director of Stonewall Cymru, added: "Our national parliament is rightfully championing equality, especially trans equality.

"The positive actions they have taken set a great example to all employers on how much can be achieved with the right leadership and desire to effect positive change."

Ms Jones welcomed the accolade and said the assembly would continue to create an inclusive culture, "not only for the people who work here but for the people we represent across all Wales' diverse communities".

It is the first time the assembly has topped the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 10 years since it was first included in the list. It came third in 2016 and fifth in 2017.

Welsh organisations named in Stonewall's Top 100 Employers

1 - National Assembly for Wales

12 - Welsh Government

14 - Cardiff University

29 - Swansea University (joint)

51 - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (joint)

51 - Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (joint)

56 - Aberystwyth University (joint)

88 - Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (joint)

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