The UK Workplace Equality Index is the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress towards LGBT inclusion in the workplace.
Participating employers demonstrate their work in different areas of employment policy and practice.
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. The 100 best-performing organisations are celebrated publicly.
Top 100 Employers 2020
Adapting our work
The 2021 Workplace Equality Index was due to open for submissions in June 2020. However, we heard from many employers that the ongoing challenges of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic would prevent them from participating.
Having listened to these concerns, and considered all options and impacts carefully, we made the decision not to open the 2021 Index for submissions or publish a 2021 Top 100 Employers list.
In place of your submission and benchmark this year, we will be providing comprehensive support to get you ready for the 2022 Index, through the Workplace Equality Index support series.
What is the Workplace Equality Index support series?
The series is providing comprehensive support to meet the new Workplace Equality Index criteria. Each part is included in your Diversity Champions membership at no extra cost.
Part 1: New criteria webinars (June to August 2020)
Introducing overall changes, details of each new section and information about the new Gold, Silver and Bronze Employer awards. These were followed by sector-specific Q&A webinars with experts from the Stonewall team.
Part 2: Criteria consultancy sessions (October to December 2020)
Two-hour, in-depth sessions focusing on up to three index areas of your choice. These might include individual sections or identity-specific questions. You will be able to provide details of your progress so far and our account management team will support you to understand how this work can be improved in line with the criteria.
Part 3: Common challenge webinars (February to March 2021)
Sharing best practice, common pitfalls and effective solutions identified in the criteria consultancy sessions.
Why has Stonewall decided not to run the 2021 Workplace Equality Index?
The Workplace Equality Index serves to benchmark levels of LGBT inclusion across all workplaces in the UK and celebrate best practice in all settings.
Many sectors and individual organisations have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the point they are unable to participate in the Index this year. Running the Index would therefore risk presenting an unrepresentative and inequitable Top 100 list.
When will we hear more?
The sector-specific Q&A webinars have now taken place, but there will be another set of live webinars in February and March to explore common challenges and share solutions.
Expressions of interest for the criteria consultancy sessions are now open and close on 3 October 2020. You can express your interest on Stonewall Submit and you may need to register a new account if you haven't entered the Workplace Equality Index before. Once you have expressed your interest, a member of the Stonewall team will be in touch to arrange your session.
Will the webinars be recorded and accessible afterwards?
The new criteria webinars (part 1) are pre-recorded and available in the My Diversity Champions workplace resources library.
The sector-specific webinars (part 1) were live Q&As that weren't recorded, due to data protection considerations for participants. Common questions will be collected to update the criteria guidance and answers will be shared in the common challenge webinars (part 3).
The common challenge webinars (part 3) will be recorded and accessible on My Diversity Champions afterwards.
Will we be allowed to submit work from the past two years in 2022?
Some index criteria ask about work from within different timeframes – for example, work from the last year, the last two years, or the last three years.
We will not extend or adjust these timeframes for the 2022 index. We know that employers will always be at different stages with their work, but this year we need to account for the disproportionate levels of disruption some may face responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note that many questions are not timebound, for example looking at inclusion within your policies and recognition of non-binary identities on your systems.
We strongly encourage you to adapt and continue all the LGBT inclusion work you had planned this year, where you are able to. Our account management team is on hand to support you with this.
How can we recognise and celebrate the work we are doing this year?
We understand that the index creates an important moment in the year to publicly recognise and celebrate your commitment to LGBT equality, especially for Top 100 employers.
We have considered carefully how we can provide alternative opportunities this year. Through the criteria consultancy sessions, we will collect examples of best practice and stories of employers supporting LGBT communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Using these, we will work with you to develop opportunities to publicly celebrate this work.
Please speak to our team to find out more.
Will be able to achieve Gold, Silver, Bronze or other awards this year?
No – the new Gold, Silver and Bronze Employer awards will not be announced for 2021. These will be awarded based on your main index submission in 2022, like the Top 100 list.
Will there still be regional top employer awards in 2021?
We hold regional awards each year, following the launch of the Top 100 Employers, to celebrate best practice and help build local networks of inclusive employers. While we will not have regional awards in 2021, and don’t know when we will next be able to hold face-to-face events, we are exploring other ways to bring groups of Diversity Champions together throughout the year. One way you can do this is by attending our Digital Learning Series, where there are opportunities to connect and grow your network.
Will the consultancy sessions be held digitally or face-to-face?
It is currently unclear when we will be able to meet face-to-face with you again. For now, we are planning to deliver these sessions digitally. The team will let you know if the situation changes and we are able to offer a face-to-face session.