Cardiff Council breaks into the "Stonewall 100"
Every year Stonewall, Britain's largest lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity, produces a list of Britain's top employers for gay staff - and this year Liberal Democrat-led Cardiff Council is celebrating reaching the coveted "Top 100" for the first time. The council was awarded 75th place, going up 94 places and is the only Welsh Local Authority to feature in the list, which also includes the National Assembly for Wales and North Wales Police.
Stonewall receives hundreds of entries each year from businesses across the UK and this year the charity received a record amount of submissions.
Cardiff Council has been recognised for a number of innovative projects including the work of its LGBT Employee Network Group.
The council has gone up a staggering 94 places from last year, with Stonewall noting that the council is the most improved employer in Wales. This is largely related to the work of the Council's LGBT Employee Network Group. The group has played an active part in helping and organising a number of events which support the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual community, including LGBT History Month, National Coming Out Day, International Day against Homophobia, Cardiff Mardi Gras and was also involved in the first all Wales Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) Conference for Youth and Educational Professionals, which was hosted by Cardiff Council at City Hall.
The Council's Schools Services have also been working hard to challenge homophobia and homophobic bullying and is the first Local Education Authority in Wales to receive a Rainbow award in recognition of this work.
In 2009, Cardiff's School Services worked with LGBT Excellence Centre Wales and sponsored the Safe Space programme. The pilot programme challenged and raised awareness of homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools and was delivered to 460 pupils in total at three Cardiff High Schools.
Liberal Democrat Council Leader, Councillor Rodney Berman, said: "I am delighted the Council is now amongst the top 100 employers in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index which is testament to the Council's equality policy to promote an inclusive and fair workplace. With Cardiff Council being the largest employer in Wales, it is especially important that we create a good working environment for everyone. I am very pleased that we have a growing number of managers and front line workers working hard to achieve this aim.
"The Council plays an active role both internally and externally to engage, promote and help the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. In 2009 we were involved with a number of key events including the Safe Space programme aimed at tackling homophobic bullying in schools across the city. We've also provided ongoing financial and event support for the Cardiff Mardi Gras.
"In 2010 we hope to carry on this work and will continue to work with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community on new projects."