New LGBT+ charter launched by Manchester Pride

The charter, which aims to create a consistent approach to diversity and inclusion across Greater Manchester, will be extended nationally next year

Manchester Pride (Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
Manchester Pride (Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)

Manchester Pride is working with 15 public and private sector organisations on a new accreditation scheme to promote workforce equality and inclusion.

Manchester Metropolitan University, Auto Trader UK and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust are among those that have agreed to test the charity's All Equals Charter.

The charter, set up to create a consistent approach to diversity and inclusion across Greater Manchester, will be extended nationally next year.

Manchester Pride developed the initiative after a report by Business in the Community last year revealed that a third of LGBT+ employees have hidden their LGBT+ status at work for fear of discrimination.

Separate research carried out by Manchester Pride showed that 40 per cent of LGBT+ people in the city had faced discrimination.

Organisations that sign up will gain access to a members’ area of the charter website, where they can complete a self-assessment on their policies and procedures for dealing with discrimination, recruitment and staff training.

They will then receive a "health check" from Manchester Pride and an action plan outlining what they can do to improve.

Once the action plan is implemented, organisations will be awarded accreditation and will be able to display the charter.

Farhana Hemani, engagement manager at Manchester Pride, told Third Sector that the charter differed from existing workplace equality initiatives, such as Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme, because it took a broader approach to discrimination suffered by LGBT+ people by quizzing employers on other issues, such as race and disability.

Stuart McKenna, equality and diversity manager in the human resources and organisational development directorate at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "We are particularly excited about the proposed intersectional principles of the charter, which seek to tackle all forms of discrimination and inequality faced by LGBT+ people."

Organisations from all sectors, including charities, will be able to apply for the charter next year. The self-assessment is free, but there is a charge for the health check and action plan.

Mark Fletcher, chief executive of Manchester Pride, said: "We have created a platform for us to work with businesses and organisations across Greater Manchester to take a look at everything from their procedures and policies relating to discrimination to the training and education offered to their workforces to create the optimum environment for LGBT+ people to thrive, whether this be at work or at play."

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