For the first time since 2012, when Stonewall began publishing its annual list of the 100 best employers for LGBT people in the country, the University of Oxford has managed to earn a spot. The university ranks near the bottom, tied with the University of Essex for number 93 on the list.
Stonewall published its 2019 list on its website on Wednesday 9th January; the London-based international law firm Pinsent Masons claimed the top spot. Stonewall, which was founded in 1989, advocates on behalf of the LGBT community and campaigns against discriminatory legislation.
Stonewall also published a list of the top 14 employers for trans individuals nationwide, on which Oxford did not rank.
“It is great to see that Oxford has progressed so rapidly into the top 100 Stonewall employers,” said Ellie Macdonald, the Vice-President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities at the Student Union in a statement to the Oxford Student. “However we must not be complacent. As demonstrated in the Trans Report 2018 trans students and staff still face major barriers and daily discrimination on the grounds of their gender identity. In the next goals that are set to fulfil the Stonewall index a more concentrated focus on trans rights would be welcomed by the SU.”
Stonewall assembles its annual Top 100 Employers ranking based on its Workplace Equality Index; employers who choose to participate in the Index receive a numerical score, and the 100 highest scoring organisations comprise the list. In order to assess each organisation, Stonewall collects anonymous survey responses from employees on a variety of topics in order. Stonewall provides a summary of those responses along with feedback for how to improve as part of the Workplace Equality Index.
Although this is the first time that Oxford has earned a high enough score to be included in the Top 100 list, the university has participated in the Workplace Equality Index in past years.
In a statement, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and University Advocate for Equality and Diversity Dr. Rebecca
Surender said, “The University, in partnership with the LGBT+ Advisory Group, has worked hard over the past five years to meet its objectives on LGBT+ equality – continuing to strengthen our policies and practices to ensure we can be truly inclusive.
“We are incredibly proud of this recent achievement and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved who have helped on this journey including the LGBT+ Role Models, LGBT+ Allies, the LGBT+ Staff Network and the wider University community.”
In addition to the University of Oxford, several other educational institutions have been included on Stonewall’s list for the first time in 2019, including Cardiff Metropolitan University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the City of Glasgow College, the University of Reading, the University of Brighton, and the University of South Wales.
Image Credit: Ted Eytan