Stonewall Workplace Equality Index Conference 2016

Posted by / Wednesday 20 April 2016 /
Stonewall 2016

The day is dedicated to exploring what it means to be equal at work and how organisations can achieve more equal and inclusive working environments for LGBT colleagues.  For Action for Children, this also means ensuring that we deliver inclusive services for children, young people and parents who identify as LGBT.

The highlight of this year’s was the keynote speech from GQHC director Robert Hannigan, who shared the journey GCHQ has made in improving diversity in its workforce and what he sees as some of the challenges for the future.  The inspiring speech also included an apology for the treatment of former GCHQ colleagues such as Alan Turing which really brought home how recent the exclusion of LGBT people has been. It was particularly poignant for us, having celebrated the life of Alan Turing at London and Manchester Pride 2015 with our friends from Fujitsu where we also had the pleasure of meeting Alan Turing’s family.  

Whilst the keynote speeches are always inspiring and often very personal, it’s the workshops that provide the opportunity to hear about the work of other organisations and the chance to reflect on how we can practically make Action for Children a more inclusive organization for everyone.

In the workshopmonitoring:  better comms, better date, better business’ , we heard from Channel 4’s Jonni Learoyd and ASDA’s Hayley Parker about their approach to asking for data on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The key theme from both was to be honest and clear about why this data is needed to help organisations understand the diversity of its workforce and help increase declaration rates.  This is something that we have started to address at Action for Children and the benefit of such a workshop is hearing about how other organisations have addressed the same issues.


"We are working hard to increase LGBT visibility and we are consistently inspired by the work of the organisations we meet at the annual Stonewall conference.  We have come away with lots of ideas that we plan to implement across Action for Children with the help of our Stonewall account manager."

Siobhan Corria, Head of Inclusion

John Egan, Acting Operational Director for the North and senior champion for Action for children attended the specialist senior champion workshops: ‘The Stonewall Conference is the key LGBT event of the year.  I was proud to represent Action for Children as its most senior gay manager and it gave me the opportunity to not only network but to pick up tips on how to make myself a more visible senior leader across the organisation.  I am really looking forward to what the Celebrate LGBT network can achieve in 2016’.

Claire Cahill, Chair of Celebrate network, role model and regional champion felt that ‘Spending a whole day with another 1200 LGBT colleagues and straight allies is in itself an extremely powerful experience. Workshops I attended gave me tangible ideas for making sure Celebrate continues to support staff and volunteers whilst ensuring children and young people remain as the focus of all of the work we undertake.


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John Egan, Acting Operational Director for the North

Claire Cahill, Children’s Services Manager and chair of Celebrate LGBT

Siobhan Corria, Head of Inclusion