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15 January 2014, 12:51
The North East's come top of a poll by the charity Stonewall of the most 'gay friendly' employers in the country.
Gentoo, a housing firm based at Doxford Park in Sunderland, topped the list.
It was compiled by the charity Stonewall, which campaigns for lesbian, gay and bisexual equal rights.
Also in the top 10 was Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, which improved from 28th last year in the same poll to 8th this year.
The Ministry of Defence has been named most improved employer of the year.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive, said:
"Gentoo and every single employer in the top 100 has performed remarkably this year as competition for a place on the list of gay-friendly employers has never been fiercer.
This commitment from organisations - across 38 different industries - is changing the face of workplaces for the better for all staff, regardless of their sexual orientation.''
Peter Walls, Gentoo's chief executive officer, said:
"Winning this award is an amazing achievement. It truly is the people at Gentoo that make this business great and it is vital that everyone feels able to be themselves at work and give us all they've got. This award will motivate us to continue to find new ways of working towards our vision.''