EngagementDiversity & InclusionInterview with Peter Holmes, Director, Commercial Operations, Stonewall

Interview with Peter Holmes, Director, Commercial Operations, Stonewall

Live from the Stonewall Workplace Conference, we spoke with Peter Holmes, Director of Commercial Operations at Stonewall who identified which organisations are progressing with trans-inclusion as well as overall LGBTQ+ equality.

What generally about LGBTQ+ equality progression is happening employers?

I think overall, it’s on the right track. I think for some sections of the LGBT community it’s gone quicker and further than for others.

Usually, in terms of agendas on employers list, it seems to overall be focused towards gay men – the LGBT community can sometimes be seen as only ‘gay’, often you’ll hear the word ‘gay’ being used as a synonym to describe the entire LGBT community, which can sometimes erase other people.

If we look at this more broadly in society, issues such as sexism and misogyny contribute to why this generalising happens. Having said that, a lot of organisations who start off in that position quickly recognise they still need to progress, and we help them do so.

Organisations from what I can see, and who we work with are starting to look at wider issues across LGBT sectors and determining that people aren’t just ‘one thing’ they are multiple things with different facets, with unique identities and increasingly employers are realising this.

Can you tell me more about your top 100 index for workplace equality?

This was the first year we had a fully trans-inclusive index, we’ve been trailing trans-inclusive questions around what organisations have been doing.

This happened over the last couple of years to give them time to start implementing these changes in a steady, considered and sensible way. We released trans-resources to help organisations over the last few years to support them in their approach.

At the beginning of this year, when we launched our top 100 employers we also released the top 10 trans-employers, this is a group who have really made great changes for trans-inclusion within their organisations. This includes the National Assembly for Wales, who came top for the overall index.

What is the biggest challenge that employers face?

The challenges vary significantly between different sectors, I think there are some that are seen as more bureaucratic, perhaps more ‘old school’ and more historic in the way that they work.

I think with those organisations is just getting it on the agenda in the first place or getting senior leaders and management to really understand and buy into the whole process in a meaningful way.

It’s about getting across that barrier, and ensuring that they are involved and informed is key.

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