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Stonewall denies militancy charge over Equality Index guidelines

Stonewall denies militancy charge over Equality Index guidelines

Stonewall has come under fire for its Workplace Equality Index rules, which suggest that firms allow gender fluid employees several email accounts.

The Telegraph singled out the suggestion, publishing comments from Conservative MPs who opposed it.

"Stonewall has unhappily gotten seized by extremist groups in recent times, and its index and prizes have devalued proportionately," John Hayes, chairman of the Common Sense Group of 60 Conservative MPs, told the Telegraph. NHS trusts and police forces should not be affiliated with this type of extremism.

"I will undoubtedly write to the Cabinet Office to request that, if public entities go down this road, they spend their own money rather than public money."


The LGBT+ nonprofit has been the topic of controversy in the last two years due to its emphasis on trans rights protection.

Because of Stonewall's policy positions and neutrality, several high-profile organisations, including Ofcom and the BBC, have opted out of the Workplace Equality Index since 2021.

The proposal in question is part of the Index's category on how firms use workplace technology to foster inclusive settings for non-binary employees.

Companies, for example, would "receive more marks if at least one example is specific to gender fluid people, such as the ability to have multiple passcards with different forms of gender expression or linked email accounts/intranet accounts with different names and photos," according to the guidelines.

Rather than imposing new ideas, the charity has reminded detractors that it is only a suggestion.

"We are immensely proud of our diversity champions programme and Workplace Equality Index, which are voluntary initiatives aimed to encourage organisations in creating more inclusive workplaces for their LGBT+ employees," a Stonewall spokeswoman told HR magazine.

"We all perform better when we can be ourselves, and it's difficult to argue that rules that provide gay, lesbian, bi, and trans employees the same opportunity to prosper in the workplace as everyone else harm anyone."

"Our advice does not enforce or require any one way of doing things, but rather gives examples that may be useful." Our workplaces are becoming more diverse, and there is nothing extreme about making little changes to create a more inviting environment where everyone feels at ease."

The organization's submission conditions have not changed since last year, according to the spokeswoman.

"We do not make major modifications to the Workplace Equality Index criteria with each three-year cycle," they explained. The requirements were last changed significantly in 2020. Minor adjustments are made between years within an index cycle, for example, to provide more clarification within a question.

"It is thus entirely false to claim that any significant changes have been made to the criteria." The examples provided, such as the two linked emails, are just illustrative."

The 2023 Workplace Equality Index submission period has ended, and the charity has launched an employee feedback form on the index.

In February, Stonewall will reveal its Top 100 firms for 2023.