The Avon and Somerset Probation Area has continued to set the standard within the Probation Service nationally for diversity practice and has received formal recognition of this through the Stonewall Top 100 Employers for gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Britain by being ranked 18th overall, reports the Ministry of Justice.
317 employers took part in the benchmarking exercise this year from campaigning group Stonewall who track the impact of workplace culture on gay, lesbian and bisexual employees. Organisations that apply to be included on the index are examined on the success of their diversity policies and the extent to which they encourage job applications from lesbian and gay workers. Stonewall also surveys gay employees on whether their workplace experiences match up to the claims made by employers.
David Hanson, Justice Minister, said:
‘I’m really proud that Avon and Somerset Probation Area has been recognised for providing a welcoming place for gay, lesbian and bisexual people to work. It is crucial that those who serve society should reflect the diversity that exists. I know from personal experience that all probation areas in England and Wales are working to open their doors to a wider section of the community. I look forward to seeing more probation areas being recognised in the future.’
Sally Lewis, Chief Officer for Avon and Somerset Probation Area said:
‘We work hard to be an organisation which treats all people with respect. In particular I hope that gay and lesbian people who are victims of crime and receive our services will be pleased to know of this important independent endorsement.’
Avon and Somerset Probation Area is the only probation area to be recognised by the index and sit with organisations also in the top 100 such as the Ministry of Justice, IBM, Lloyds TSB and the Home Office.