Touchstone has been placed 20th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers, which lists the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.
The list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision. Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.
Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s Chief Executive commented: “As mum to 2 gay children, LGBT equality is personal for me. I am so lucky therefore to work for an organisation which both shares these values of inclusion and fairness, but also challenges all it’s employees to get better at including each other in the workplace, every day. Touchstone can only be in the Stonewall index for 6 years running because we have a mandate to be so from trustees and staff.”
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Touchstone and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people. More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do. However, with organisations like Touchstone 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.”
Last year, Stonewall released research that revealed 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.