What is Stonewall?
Stonewall is a charity that campaigns for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. They work to support individuals, change organisations and institutions, provide information and resources, and lobby for legal changes. They are now Europe's largest LGBT charity.
As part of the College's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, Imperial is part of Stonewall's Diversity Champions Programme. Through this programme Stonewall works with organisations and employers to ensure LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.
"We want Imperial and all its staff to thrive and that is why we are committed more widely to creating a culture where LGBTQ+ people feel welcome, included and able to be themselves."
Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
To help Imperial develop as an organisation that is fully inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, we participate in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. This scheme provides an external benchmark against which we can assess how we are doing.
The Stonewall Index requires organisations to undergo a review process and produce a report. This aims to make organisations think about their processes and culture to ensure that they are responsive to the experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ+ staff and students. The report asks about:
- employee policy
- the employee lifecycle
- staff network groups
- allies and role models
- senior leadership
- and ‘customers’ (for Imperial, the latter group largely comprises our students).
What is Imperial doing?
Since 2017, the College has sought to bring a new focus to our engagement with the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. In 2019, Imperial came 266 out of 447 organisations that took part in the Index.
Although we hope that the experience of LGBTQ+ people continues to improve year on year at Imperial, we know we can still do better. Part of our submission to Stonewall Index is an action plan, which helps us to structure and prioritise the things that we need to do. Throughout the year, progress on this action plan is monitored by a Stonewall working group, which includes several representatives of our LGBTQ+ staff network, Imperial 600.
Our action plan is an ongoing process that we hope will result in real changes. Ultimately, schemes like the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index are only worthwhile if they achieve this. We would therefore welcome input from staff and students who have encountered problems that we need to solve, or who have ideas that will help make Imperial fully inclusive.