Stonewall Gold Award recognises College as an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer

Online news
16 February 2023

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is delighted to announce that it has today officially been awarded a Stonewall Gold Award, having been ranked the 90th top employer in the UK for LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Last year, the College won a Stonewall Silver Award, having been ranked the 134th top employer for LGBTQ+ inclusivity. 

This year, its ranking has improved as a result of taking further measures to ensure that it promotes inclusivity for staff and members who are LGBTQ+.

Participants in the Stonewall scheme are not expected to take every measure on the charity’s list, but we completed 80% of the measures which were consistent with our values and ways of working, and were proud to be awarded gold status.

Other organisations in the top 100 include NHS England, Health Education England, Rolls Royce, Barclays, M&S Bank, KPMG, Bank of America, Tesco, Vodafone and Amazon.

Stonewall - LGBTQ+ inclusive employer - gold award 2023

Stonewall - LGBTQ+ inclusive employer - top 100 2023

One huge milestone in the College’s work over the last year was its groundbreaking LGBTQ+ member survey, which asked psychiatrists – both those who define themselves as LGBTQ+ and those who do not – about their experience of the treatment of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

The research, carried out by Research by Design, was the first-ever such survey by a medical royal college – and was responded to by 2,282 of the College’s members.

The headline finding was that 48% of LGBTQ+ psychiatrists had been bullied, harassed or experienced microaggressions in the last three years.

Following the survey, the College publicised the results in the national media, generating coverage in a range of outlets including the Guardian.

Off the back of the survey, the College published a list of 12 pledges that it asked all NHS mental health employer bodies to sign up to.

These included:

  1. Making a clear commitment to tackling all forms of discrimination against LGBTQ+ staff, including bullying, harassment, microaggressions and a promise to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act
  2. Adopting a zero-tolerance approach towards bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ staff
  3. Introducing clear and transparent processes for the reporting and investigating of any form of bullying, harassment or microaggressions of/against LGBTQ+ staff
  4. Establishing an independent support line for all staff, providing advice to those affected by bullying, harassment and microaggressions
  5. Collecting and reporting at Board level equality, diversity and inclusion data each year, including bullying, harassment and microaggressions, and publish an annual summary on the organisational website
  6. Encouraging LGBTQ+ managers to be positive role models for LGBTQ+ staff and others 
  7. Creating a welcoming workplace environment for people who are LGBTQ+, for instance through issuing badges, posters and rainbow lanyards
  8. Rolling out bespoke training for senior leaders and managers, as well as all other staff to help them understand the experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ people, as well as the issue of intersectionality
  9. Developing and supporting LGBTQ+ staff networks to have a cross-organisational level of influence, including regular meetings with the Chief Executive
  10. Considering appointing LGBTQ+ advisors to participate in policy/ service development, recruitment panels and inductions
  11. Encouraging LGBTQ+ employees to share their personal stories with other staff, for instance via blogs, to encourage allyship
  12. Joining appropriate workplace equality schemes.

Over the last year, as an organisation, the RCPsych has continued to celebrate LGBTQ+ focused diversity awareness events – including Pride, LGBTQ+ History Month and International Transgender Day of Visibility.

It marks these events with its members, through webinars, talks, videos and podcasts.

For its staff, it holds talks and events such as its innovative staff reflective conversations, which are held to enable to discuss social issues.

Last year, one of the reflective conversations for staff focused on the distressing homophobic murder in Bute Park, Cardiff, of College member, Dr Gary Jenkins. 

During the reflective conversations, staff are offered the space to share their lived experience whether they are LGBTQ+ or not. 

Over the last year, the College has reviewed all of its HR policies to ensure they are supportive of all people regardless of their characteristics and background.

It has also advertised all its staff roles via LGBTQ+ job sites and others that reach different marginalised groups.

In addition, it has introduced new policies such as our Transitioning at Work and its Transgender Equality and Inclusion Policy. 

The RCPsych has worked hard to put in place the changes it believes work for the College as an inclusive, broad-church organisation.

All of this work ensures that it is continuing to create an inclusive environment, which makes the workplace more inclusive for everyone – regardless of their characteristics or background. 

Securing a spot in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers and receiving a Gold Award, highlights the College’s commitment to creating an inclusive workplace to external stakeholders and potential staff.

RCPsych President Dr Adrian James said:

“I am delighted that we have won a Stonewall Gold Award, and been ranked the 90th top employer in the UK for LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

“When I became President, in 2020, I pledged to make equality, diversity and inclusion an absolute priority for the College.

“And I am thrilled that we have been recognised for following through on this promise – and by making the RCPsych one of the most inclusive employers in the country for people who are LGBTQ+.

“As a membership organisation – with 20,500 – members we also ensure that we are inclusive of LGBTQ+ psychiatrists around the world, as well as being inclusive of all other members regardless of their characteristics or background.”

The College’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion is supported by two Presidential Leads Dr Lade Smith CBE and Dr Raj Mohan, and a number of the College staff team.


Note: This story was updated on 22 February to include details about the proportion of Stonewall's measures that we undertook and to include details of other organisations which are also in Stonewall's top 100 list.

Equality, diversity and inclusion at the College

The College is opposed to all forms of prejudice and believes that everyone should be treated fairly regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
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