Police Scotland in top 20 of Stonewall Equality Index

Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:44

Police Scotland has scored its highest ever ranking in a major UK index of employers approach to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender workers.

Stonewall’s 2017 Top 100 Workplace Equality Index, which measures organisational progress, has placed Police Scotland 20th across the whole of the UK. 

It’s the third year Police Scotland has entered the Stonewall WEI. Last year the service was ranked at 83 and in 2015 sat at 119th in the UK meaning a leap of 99 places in just three years. 

The significant improvement highlights Police Scotland’s growing reputation as an employer of choice amongst the LGBT community and reflects work undertaken to improve service to the public. 

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “This is a fantastic result. It gives me great confidence that our service is becoming more representative of our communities. I also hope the public and LGBT communities are reassured by our continuing efforts to build a service that engages positively with all members of the public.” 

The 2017 list comprises of more than 400 organisations – the highest in the Index’s 12 year history - and Police Scotland’s improved ranking highlights its reputation as an employer of choice for the LGBT community. 

Building on previous work to improve recruitment, employment practices and service delivery highlights from the past 12 months which have contributed to the new ranking include: 

  • The launch of the Police Scotland Allies network, designed to enhance understanding of the work in support of LGBT colleagues and to influence the workplace culture of the organisation. ‘Police Scotland LGBT Allies’ formally launched in June 2016 with ACC Malcolm Graham as our senior ally. An aide memoire and information sheet was produced to outline the commitment of the organisation and the role of allies. 
  • To date over 150 staff have signed up as Allies (incorporating LGBT Role Models) and on 24 August the ‘#By Your Side’ mentoring and networking event took place at Tulliallan. The day brought together allies, role models and members of the Gay Police Association to discuss better working 
  • The key to the Allies network is to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture recognising the fact that staff who can be authentic and happier are more productive. 
  • LGBT role models and allies have been highlighted throughout the organisation. 
  • Work is ongoing to ensure that our policies and practices are explicit in their inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Ensuring that staff are aware of all the support available to them via colleagues, network groups, confidential assistance programmes and line managers. 
  • Engagement with staff and the public to raise awareness of LGBT issues and demonstrate the ways in which Police Scotland support and promote our work with the LGBT community. 

Chief Constable Gormley said: “Over the course of the past three years Police Scotland has leapt 99 places in the Index which is recognised throughout the UK as a significant indicator of progress in this area. 

“That wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible amount of commitment shown by our officers and staff who, through working with partners to gain a better understanding, knowledge and awareness, have driven this improvement in our standing. 

“We want to be considered as an employer of choice for everyone and I am delighted with our improved rating. We truly value a diverse workforce which allows us to better police our increasingly more diverse communities.” 

Alan Sneddon, Chair of Gay Police Association Scotland, said: "The Gay Police Association (GPA) Scotland is delighted to have worked with Police Scotland on this year's Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and on the progress and success achieved in the 2017 result. 

"As an association of members representing gay/lesbian and bisexual police officers and staff in all parts of Scotland, we are regularly consulted on policies, practices and procedures adopted by Police Scotland that affect our officers and staff and the delivery of services to our diverse communities. 

"Our 'Valuing An Inclusive Workplace' conference held last month was supported by the senior leaders of Police Scotland, who also join our members in the annual LGBT Pride processions, demonstrating clearly how actions speak louder than words. 

"GPA Scotland and Police Scotland shall never be complacent when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Policing by the community for the community means reflecting the diverse communities across Scotland and by working with Stonewall and others we strive to be the employer of choice for LGBT people." 

A spokesperson for the National Trans Police Association added: "The National Trans Police Association (NTPA) are delighted to see that Police Scotland has achieved a significant improvement in it's position on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, this is a great achievement. NTPA has worked with Police Scotland and continues to support them to help improve Transgender inclusion and support for all within the Police family"