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19 January 2017, 00:00
Five organisations in the North East feature in this year's Top 100 Employers list, released today by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.
Stonewall's Top 100 Employers lists the best employers for lesbian, gay and bi staff and is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index.
Your Homes Newcastle tops this year's list for the North East, as well as being this year's highest climber, moving 8 places to number 28.
Tina Drury, Managing Director of Your Homes Newcastle, said:
'We're thrilled with our position on this year's Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and this really is a testament to the efforts of staff across our organisation who are passionate about recognising and celebrating equality and diversity.
'Our Proud@YHN staff network group has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of important issues for the LGBT Plus community and YHN has engaged with more staff and residents than ever this year.
'The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index has been instrumental in helping us to concentrate our attention and achieve this fantastic position and we look forward to responding to guidance to make further improvements throughout 2017, with particular focus on trans inclusion.'
Strong performances also came from Newcastle City Council, who are number 38 in this year's list and Teesside University, who are number 51.
Completing the list are North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust at number 60 and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust at number 95.
Gentoo remains a Star Performer in the North East this year, following their consistent exemplary performance in the Index. This prestigious accolade is in recognition of their unwavering efforts to create inclusive workplaces where staff can bring their whole selves to work.
Lucy Malarkey, Deputy Director, Gentoo said:
'Gentoo is delighted to be named as a Stonewall Star Performer for the third year running. Our vision is about building strong communities and inspiring people and we fundamentally believe that inclusive communities are stronger and staff can be more inspired in a workplace that enables them to be themselves.
'This year, the focus of our work as a Star Performer has been about encouraging others to recognise that even in challenging times with stretched budgets, you can still make a difference. You don't need huge resources to improve the inclusivity of your workplace and communities - making a difference is about passion, commitment and creativity.
'This compliments the ambitious programme of work completed over the past two years to support older LGBT people in their homes as well as helping to raise awareness of domestic violence in same-sex relationships, locally and regionally.
'We are looking forward to continuing to work with Stonewall to advance workplace equality and explore strategic priorities in the LGBT sector - helping Stonewall in their mission to make everyone feel free to be who they are, wherever they are.'
Stonewall's regional expert for the North East, Catherine Somerville, said:
'It's fantastic to see so many organisations in the North East step up and demonstrate their commitment to LGBT equality, including Star Performer Gentoo. We're confident that the hard work of the organisations featured in the Top 100 will encourage others across the region to increase their work around diversity and inclusion.'