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Stonewall's huge boost for Thames Water

Thursday 30th January 2020 12:00

A pride flag waving near the entrance of Clearwater Court

Thames Water has received further recognition from LGBT+ charity Stonewall for its commitment to lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.

Each year the charity produces a ‘workplace equality index’ which lists the top performing firms in the UK. Thames Water - already a Stonewall Diversity Champion for ensuring all staff are accepted without exception - was ranked 302 last year. This year it has shot up 113 places to 189th.

Britain’s biggest water company has now set a target of being in the top 100 by 2025.

It operates a ‘bring your whole self to work’ ethos, enabling people to be themselves, without fear of judgement or discrimination and has introduced trans and non-binary guidelines. It celebrates trans and bi ‘days of visibility’ to raise awareness of under-represented groups and holds regular events featuring guest speakers talking about subjects like bisexuality.

Thames Water’s head of risk, audit and assurance, Richard Hoult, senior sponsor of the company’s LGBT+ and Allies Network, said: “This is fantastic news and recognises the time, effort and dedication to everyone who has helped build the network in Thames Water.

“We have ambitious plans to hit the target of being in the top 100 which will include engagement of people from every part of our business and every location, ensuring everyone is able to ‘bring their whole self to work’”.

The index is a definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.

Employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of policy and practice, while staff from across the organisation complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work. Organisations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed in comparison with their sector and region.

Jenny Jones, who leads Thames Water’s LGBT+ and Allies network, said: “I’m really proud of all the work we’ve done over the past 12 months since I stepped up as chair of the network to celebrate diversity and inclusion within our workforce. We’re delighted to receive this recognition from Stonewall for our contribution towards building an inclusive and welcoming environment at Thames Water where everyone can feel encouraged and accepted to be themselves.”