Hackney Council moves up 20 places in Stonewall Index

Hackney Council is now one of the top five gay-friendly councils in the country, following Stonewall’s 2011 Workplace Equality Index.

The 2011 Index, which showcases Britain’s top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people, ranks Hackney Council as 23rd, the 3rd highest rating for a London authority and fifth highest of all councils.

Hackney’s position at number 23 represents a significant move of 20 places from last year’s index.

Councillor Karen Alcock, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Equalities, said: “I’m really pleased that Hackney Council has made significant progress in this year’s index and is still rated as one of the top employers in the country for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

“Hackney Council is committed to ensuring a workplace environment free from discrimination, and where all staff can reach their potential. We know that Hackney is a diverse borough and being recognised within Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index is a clear demonstration of the Council’s commitment to promoting equality for all.”

Competition was fiercer than ever to secure a place on the 2011 Top Employers List, says Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive. "We received more entries than any previous year. The Index is 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."

Hackney Council also participates in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, which aims to promote LGB equality in the workplace and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Working with Stonewall allows the Council to network with organisations from different sectors, as well as gaining access to workplace guides and seminars on promoting equality and eliminating discrimination.

In addition to taking part in the programme, the Council works with its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Staff Forum, known as ‘Out and About’, to help promote equality in the workplace. The forum provides an opportunity for staff of all grades and backgrounds to identify issues concerning their experiences as employees, offer support to each other and act as a representative consultative body.