Three of Cheshire ’s most prominent organisations have been named among the 100 most LGBT inclusive employers in Britain.
Stonewall, a charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality (LGBT), compiled the list from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool.
More than 430 employers across the public, private and third sectors entered the 2017 index and 90,000 staff members filled out supplementary surveys.
This year Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service ranked in joint eighth place, leaping five positions from last year’s spot of 13th.
This is the fifth consecutive year the service has featured in the list which spotlights some of the UK’s largest and most successful firms.
Bob Rudd, chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, said the achievement is a great reward for the organisation’s equality efforts over the last year.
“The index is a powerful way to help us demonstrate to our staff and the communities of Cheshire that we are here to support everyone, regardless of their background, sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Mr Rudd.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was recognised in particular for its focus on supporting the community by addressing the safety risks faced by LGBT people.
Stonewall also highlighted the service’s efforts in the workplace to address homophobic abuse and other forms of bullying.
Cheshire Constabulary grabbed the 16th spot this year, an incredible leap from 135th in 2016, the result of an action plan and structured feedback.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said that the constabulary’s ranking is very positive step forward but added ‘there is still more to be done’.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure we create the best workplace possible for all lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff,” he added.
Over the past year the Cheshire Constabulary has hosted several LGBT events with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
These included LGBT History Month, International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Cheshire West and Chester Council scooped 75th place in the list which was published on Wednesday (January 18), placing for the first time.
Councillor Paul Donovan, Cabinet Member for Democracy and Workforce, said the council is delighted to be further recognised for its work on equality and diversity.
“This reflects a great deal of hard work by our elected members and staff who are committed to ensuring that all colleagues feel able to be themselves at work and help to make our communities more inclusive.”
The council worked hard to make improvements following last year when they were 171st out of the 415 organisations which entered.
Chief Executive Gerald Meehan said: “For LGBT employees, knowing that the organisation and colleagues will support them to be themselves means they can focus on the job.”
Chief executive of Stonewall Ruth Hunt congratulated the 2017 Stonewall Top 100 employers for their outstanding achievements.
“You are at the forefront of driving LGBT inclusion in the workplace and we are incredibly proud to work with you,” she said.
“With your continued partnership, we can ensure that all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees across Britain are accepted without exception.”