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Fire Service one of Stonewall's Top 100 Employers
11:02am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
THE Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is one of the UK’s leading organisations for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality, according to Stonewall, the national LGB campaign and support group.
The Service has achieved a place in Stonewall’s prestigious Top 100 Employers list, demonstrating that the Service is creating an inclusive working environment.
It has been ranked 91 out of 369 public and private sector organisations in the national Workplace Equality Index, an improvement of 67 places since last year.
The Workplace Equality Index is Britain's leading tool for employers to measure their efforts to tackle discrimination and create inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, using Stonewall's criteria as a model for good practice.
It assesses employers’ performance in areas from tackling anti-gay bullying and harassment to supporting the career development of LGB employees and the presence of senior role models for them.
For this year’s submission, the Service’s evidence included gay-friendly policies and procedures, an LGB employee network, equality training for all employees and regular internal and external communications on relevant issues.
Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “I’m thrilled about this tremendous achievement and in particular that we have got there one year ahead of our target.
"The Service is committed to lesbian, gay and bisexual equality and works hard to create the right environment for colleagues to be open about their sexual orientation if they choose. This national recognition demonstrates how we value all our employees and strive to be an excellent employer.”
The Service recently launched Fire Pride, an LGB employee network which provides support and guidance to individual employees and to the organisation on LGB issues. The network is consulted on policy development and builds relations with the external community, for example through attendance at Pride events.