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Navy and RAF among top 100 employers of gay people

The Royal Navy and RAF have both been ranked amongst the top 100 employers in Britain of lesbian, gay and bisexual people for 2012.

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Armed Forces personnel taking part in the 40th London Pride march

Armed Forces personnel taking part in the 40th London Pride march last year [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

It is the first time the Navy has made the top 100 in the list which is produced each year by Stonewall, the largest lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity in Europe which lobbies on behalf of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.

The RAF were ranked 97th on last year’s list but have risen to become the 56th top employer for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in the UK for 2012.

The Top 100 Employers list consists of the organisations that have scored the highest on Stonewall’s 25-question Workplace Equality Index (WEI), designed to measure equality in the workplace, and have been able to demonstrate their best practice with supplementary evidence.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said:

Congratulations to the Royal Navy for securing the 77th position on the 2012 Stonewall Top 100 Employers list. Competition for a place in the Top 100 was fiercer than ever this year.

With new, more demanding criteria, every employer securing a position in the Top 100 has performed impressively - and the participating employers collectively employ over 1.9 million people.

The Index remains a powerful tool used by Britain’s 1.7 million gay employees and 150,000 gay university students to decide where to take their talent and skills.

Taking part in the WEI demonstrates to both the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and wider communities that they will be treated fairly by an employer who maintains commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and ensures that employers are in a position to attract and retain the best people.

The Naval Service was placed 112 in the 2011 WEI and the improvement in the rankings for 2012 is considered to be due to the implementation of effective diversity strategies that include sexual orientation and visible commitment from top management such as the Second Sea Lord’s participation in the Stonewall ‘Straight Allies’ research which studied the role that straight people play in creating gay-friendly workplaces.

Commodore Rupert Wallace, Naval Assistant and the Navy’s LGBT Diversity Champion, said:

We in the Naval Service are delighted to be placed in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list for 2012. It shows a strong and clear message to the UK population, and especially the LGBT community, that the Navy is an inclusive employer and that we are committed to embracing diversity and inclusion amongst our workforce.

Commenting on the RAF’s inclusion in the Top 100 list for the second year running, Air Member for Personnel, Air Marshal Andy Pulford, said:

The RAF has participated in Stonewall’s Employer Benchmarking Scheme since 2007 and has consistently improved its rating year-on-year, which is extremely encouraging, particularly as the number of participants and depth of submissions over this timeframe has increased significantly.

Elevation into the Top 100 during 2011 was in itself a significant milestone, so I am especially pleased that we have now achieved 56th position. I am extremely grateful to Stonewall for their continued support, and I look forward to sustaining this progress into the future.

The top ranked employer for 2012 on Stonewall’s list was Ernst and Young with the Home Office ranked second.

Published 13 January 2012