• Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service named most inclusive emergency services organisation for a third year, keeping their place at third spot
  • Six emergency services in total place in this year’s list of LGBT-inclusive employers
  • Derbyshire Fire and Rescue enters list for the first time at number 99

Six Emergency Services organisations have made the Top 100 Employers list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.

The Top 100 is the UK’s definitive list ranking employers from across public, private and third sectors on how LGBT inclusive their workplaces are. This year’s Top 100 was the most competitive ever with 503 employers vying for a coveted spot. 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service continue to be the sector leader for a fourth year, maintaining their position in the top ten at number three.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service also received special commendation as a top trans-inclusive employer. The organisation has demonstrated their commitment to LGBT equality through initiatives such as hosting ‘Proud to Provide’, a national conference exploring ways in which the public sector can better meet the needs of LGBT service users.

Mark Cashin, Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘Over the past 10 years, we have worked hard to create a workplace where LGBT colleagues feel safe and able to reach their full potential. As a result, we are attracting more LGBT people into the Service than ever before and our latest staff survey showed that LGBT colleagues are among the happiest and most engaged in the organisation.

‘A diverse workforce makes us better able to understand the needs of our increasingly diverse communities. For that reason, our focus this year has been on promoting the importance of LGBT inclusion in the way we provide our services.

‘We are delighted that Stonewall has recognised this work and proud to have retained our position in the Top 100 Employers list. It is hugely important to us that we remain visible champions for LGBT inclusion.’

The sector’s second-highest performing organisation is Sussex Police at number 68, who moved ahead by 13 places from their 2019 position of 81. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue are a new entry to the Top 100 list this year, landing at 99.

This year’s Top 100 was the most competitive ever, with 503 employers vying for a coveted spot. 

Stonewall research shows that one in seven LGBT employees (14 per cent) don’t feel able to be themselves at work and almost one in five LGBT people (18 per cent) have experienced discrimination when applying for jobs because of their identity.

Sanjay Sood-Smith, Stonewall’s Executive Director of Workplace & Community Programmes, said: 'Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services and all of the Emergency Services organisations in this year's Top 100 Employer's list are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people, and should be very proud of their work.

'We still don't live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.’

Full results of the Top 100 Employers list can be found online at: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/full-list-top-100-employers-2020