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Skills Development Scotland has been named one of the most inclusive employers in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall in its Top 100 Employers list for 2019. 

SDS has placed 18th on this year's list, making a significant leap from 154th spot in 2018. 

This year's Top 100 was the largest ever with 445 employers entering; demonstrating their commitment to LGBT workplace inclusion. 

As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture and diversity. An overwhelming 93 per cent of non-LGBT employees who responded to the survey, say they understand why their employer is committed to LGBT equality. 

Lesley Robertson, Key Worker and Chair of SDS’s LGBTI+ Allies Group said: “Being included in the Stonewall Top 100 is a big cherry on top of our SDS rainbow cake. Let’s enjoy this moment as we reflect on everyone’s enthusiasm and commitment to LGBT equality from the past year. We have so much to be proud of with our ongoing progress. Every day, we are creating an environment where all LGBT staff and customers can be themselves. Now we are in the Stonewall Top 100, SDS can become a more visible role model for LGBT equality in the wider community.” 

Last year, Stonewall released research that revealed more than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18%) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity. 

Carolyn Anderson, Director of HR,  said: “SDS is delighted to be included in the Stonewall top 100 employers. We are absolutely committed to having equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do, both as an employer and provider of services. Participating in the index has helped us develop and improve support to our LGBT colleagues. Our inclusion in the top 100 will inspire us to continue learning, developing and progressing on our equality journey.”    

Darren Towers, Stonewall's Executive Director, said: "SDS and all those who have made this year's Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK. LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people."

Stonewall's Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision. 

Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they've engaged with LGBT communities.

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