Environment Agency Tops List of Gay-Friendly Employers in Wales; 'People Perform Better When They Can Be Themselves'

Article excerpt

Byline: Aled Blake

THE Environment Agency Wales has been named the most gay-friendly employer in the country - ranking 11th in a charity's top 100 UK companies. Gay rights pressure group Stonewall named the Environment Agency, the National Assembly for Wales, North Wales Police and Cardiff Council as the only four Welsh employers in its list top 100 employers.

IBM was named as the best place to work in Britain for gays. In second place was Hampshire Constabulary and Ernst & Young was third.

The National Assembly for Wales secured 47th position and North Wales Police reached 50th place. Cardiff council were named as the most improved employer in Wales after securing 74th position and entering the top 100 for the first time.

Gay staff working at the top 25 workplaces reported a satisfaction level almost 10% higher than workplaces outside the top 100. Staff were also more likely to disclose their sexual orientation in monitoring exercises at the highest-ranking organisations.

More than 350 employers took part in Stonewall's 2009 Workplace Equality Index, the basis of the top employers list.

Stonewall Cymru director Liz Morgan said: "We received more entries than any previous year from Welsh employers who understand and benefit from Stonewall's research, which found that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are far more likely to buy goods or services from companies they know are gay-friendly.

"The index is a powerful tool used by Britain's 1.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual employees and 150,000 gay university students to decide where to take their talent and skills. …