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Last week, the National Assembly for Wales was named top LGBTQ-inclusive employer in the UK.

The organisation placed first on the annual list having introduced gender-neutral facilities across the company and holding inclusive training and policies that improve the workplace for trans staff.

“At a time when LGBT people are subject to profound discrimination and abuse, both in and out of the workplace, our LGBT-inclusive employers are a welcome beacon of hope that a positive future is possible.

“The National Assembly for Wales is a trailblazer for equality, especially for trans equality, and we’d like other organisations to look at the straightforward, positive actions they have taken and follow the example they have set.

“Creating a workplace environment that accepts everyone isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. When staff feel comfortable, happy and understood they will, of course, perform much better than if they’re having to hide who they are, or if they’re scared to go to work for fear of abuse.

“All leaders, managers – all of us as colleagues – can stand up for LGBT people in the workplace and play a part. We can all play a part in changing our workplaces and our communities so that all LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

However, not all industries placed well in the 2018 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index – most surprisingly, the creative and media industry.

PrideAM – advertising’s LGBTQ network – has criticised the industry for their lack of placings on the list, describing the result as “shameful”.

“Despite the industry’s attempts to improve diversity it seems no progress has been made in proving that the creative workplace is an inclusive space for the LGBT+ community” said PrideAM spokesperson Lara Kingsbeer.

“We recognise that some agencies have started to make efforts and are working with Stonewall, but the advertising sector has been too slow to respond to the LGBT+ community. We are certainly many years behind other professional services like law and accounting, and a long way behind the public sector. LGBT+ inclusion must be one important pillar in every agency’s broader diversity and inclusion strategy” said Lara.

“We call on every agency in the UK to make positive steps to LGBT+ inclusion. They include offering gender neutral toilets, having a formal transitioning policy, and for companies of a certain size, encouraging LGBT+ networks to be established in the workplace to consult on more personalised diversity and inclusion strategies.

“I hope we’re all striving to create an inclusive and prejudice-free working environment, because only when our workplaces truly represent the world outside, can we hope to communicate effectively with that world. And with trust in advertising at an all-time low, we must make changes now. We certainly agree that diverse teams are much more likely to generate better creativity, quicker.”

Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, and includes more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees via a survey.

This year saw more than 430 organisations take part in the Index, while 91% of non-LGBTQ employees who responded to the survey say they understand why their employer is committed to LGBTQ equality.