Major conference of LGBT workers comes to Leeds

Less than a fifth of LGBT staff in Yorkshire are out in the workplace.
Less than a fifth of LGBT staff in Yorkshire are out in the workplace.
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LESS THAN a fifth of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff in Yorkshire are out in the workplace - and many feel demoralised and isolated, equality charity Stonewall said.

Today it is hosting a major conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) equality and inclusion in the workplace at Leeds Beckett University, aimed at helping both employers and staff make the work environment more welcoming for everyone.

Speakers at the event include former Capital FM Yorkshire DJ Stephanie Hirst, who has spoken in the past about the positive support she received from her old employer when undergoing gender reassignment.

Stonewall’s research shows 18 per cent of Yorkshire LGB staff are out at work - compared to 29 per cent in the north west.

LGB staff are five times more likely to be satisfied with their sense of achievement at work and three times more likely to be satisfied with their job security when compared to those who are not out with anyone in the workplace.

Stonewall works with a variety of organisations in the region including Leeds Council, West Yorkshire Police, Leeds Beckett University and Touchstone.

The charity’s client account manager in Yorkshire, Josh Willacy, said: “It can be a really demoralising and isolating experience if you feel you can’t be yourself with your colleagues in the workplace.

“Employers can help by creating a safe space for people to talk, having a positive network in place, connecting with community groups and by monitoring so they know whether there are LGBT staff in the workforce.”

The event today will see 200 delegates hear from 40 speakers, sharing best practice about LGBT policies. It will also examine the role of ‘allies’ in supporting LGBT staff.

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