Network Rail has been recognised for its commitment to the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in the workplace by Stonewall, the world’s second-largest LGBT+ charity.
Network Rail received a Silver Award, and its network group, Archway, run entirely by Network Rail volunteers, has won Network group of the year.
For 20 years, Stonewall has been supporting employers to create welcoming workplaces for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. According to the charity’s research, more than a third of LGBT+ staff (35 percent) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18 percent) have been the target of negative comments because they’re LGBT+.
Liz Ward, Director of Programmes at Stonewall (she/her) said: “We spend so much of our time at work, and our career can be a huge part of how we define ourselves. Every single lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person should be able to be themselves at work. From understanding how HR policies, such as parental leave, will affect them, to being reassured that they can speak openly about their lives and partners at the coffee machine, the impact of inclusive workplaces can be life changing.
“It’s fantastic that Network Rail has gained a silver award for their efforts and commitment to creating an inclusive work environment, and we look forward to seeing and supporting the rest of their inclusion journey.”
Stonewall is the UK’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, working to create a world where every lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person is free to be themselves – wherever they are.
It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign on LGBT Equality, as well as work with employers and schools to create environments which allow LGBT+ people to thrive.
Shane Andrews MBE (he/him), Network Rail’s diversity and inclusion manager and chair of Archway, said: “I am delighted that Stonewall has recognised Network Rail’s work in making the organisation more inclusive for LGBT+ colleagues and awarding us with a Silver Award, as well as naming Archway, Network Group of the year. I feel privileged to chair Archway and even more so now we’ve won an award that recognises the huge amount of work we’ve done in recent years, where we have striven to educate, empower and connect with all our colleagues – whether they’re LGBT+ or an ally.
“Archway is run entirely by volunteers, providing day-to-day confidential support to colleagues across the network particularly during the pandemic when our members were more isolated. Receiving this award means that not only is the work that we’re doing being acknowledged within Network Rail but also with the wider LGBT+ community. It is safe to say that I am bursting with pride!”
As part of Stonewall’s Bring Yourself To Work, the LGBT+ equality charity has published its Top 100 Employers List, and awarded a series of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to organisations to celebrate their inclusion work. The charity will also be highlighting the importance of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people, and the life-changing impact of being able to bring your whole self to work.