The University of Reading has been named a leading employer by an organisation which promotes the inclusion and diversity of staff.
The Stonewall Top 100 Employers list- which the University has continued to progress in- placed UoR at 93 out of the 503 employers based on the institution’s efforts to encourage the inclusion of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans (LGBT+) community.
Among the factors considered during ranking were employee policy, employee lifecycle, staff network groups, allies and role models, senior leadership and monitoring which, combined with an anonymous staff survey about experiences of diversity and inclusion of LGBT staff, resulted in a steady improvement for the institution– from 98 in 2018 to 115 in 2019 to 116.5 this year.
Stonewall’s assessment panel complimented the University on ‘Faces of Reading’ and the strength of internal communications. They said: “It’s great to see explicit statements of inclusion, diverse recruitment and clear signposting of your staff networks.
“The Faces of Reading is also such a great tool for encouraging diverse recruitment and showing your commitment to diversity and inclusion. Really good internal communications around specific LGBT days and also promotion of learning and development opportunities to LGBT employees.”
The panel also commented that the University’s LGBT+ Network is “very active and a key part of university life” and that there is high level of engagement from LGBT Allies across the institution.
They added: “The appointment of a ‘lead ally’ is also a good idea and it’s good to see them lead on coaching and mentoring of other allies. Your support for employees to become LGBT role models is fantastic.”
Delighted by UoR’s ranking, the University’s current Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Allán Laville said: “I am extremely pleased that we continue to be a Top 100 Employer in Stonewall’s rankings. It reflects our ongoing commitment to our LGBT+ colleagues, and the hard work put in by our LGBT+ Network, RUSU officers and colleagues across the institution to make this an inclusive and welcoming place.”
Zeid Sharif, Diversity Officer at Reading University Students’ Union, added: “Top 100 for two years in a row is impressive, more so in view of the increased competition from employers. I feel privileged to have been involved in initiatives and campaigns that make Reading an inclusive and welcoming place to study and work, and I look forward to continued work on this.”