Rugby Football League praised for commitment to fighting homophobia
The Rugby Football League (RFL) has been hailed as an inspiration to other sports employers for its commitment to challenge homophobia and embrace diversity.
Stonewall has singled out the RFL for special praise after Rugby League’s governing body was ranked 169th out of the 352 organisations that participated in the Stonewall Workplace Index.
David Shields, Stonewall’s Director of Workplace programmes, said: “The RFL has done well to secure a place on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index this year.
Competition was fiercer than ever as we received more entries than any previous year.
The RFL has shown a clear commitment to equality for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff since joining our Diversity Champions programme in 2009 and this is reflected in their achievement on the 2010 index.
The RFL’s success in the Index should act as an inspiration to other sports employers who want their staff to be themselves at work and perform at their best”.
Sarah Williams, the RFL’s Equality and Diversity Manager, said she was delighted by the news and announced that the organisation is reaffirming its commitment to being inclusive by launching a Rainbow Forum for LGBT people.
“All our hard work has really begun to pay off and we are moving closer towards developing a workplace culture, policies and programmes and sport that is inclusive of LGBT employees and challenges homophobia.
“We are committed to further improvements and as such we are proud to announce the launch of an LGBT employees forum; the RFL Rainbow Forum.
“This is unique because it is open not just to RFL staff but to all players, coaches, match officials, support staff, club staff and volunteers.
“The Rainbow Forum will provide a support network for all LGBT people involved in our sport as well as helping the RFL to develop a better understanding of the needs and expectations of LGBT employees.
“The forum also sends a clear and public message that Rugby League values and supports gay people involved in all aspects of our sport”.
Sarah emphasised: “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Stonewall, in particular Dave Small, for all their support and guidance over the last year.
“We have found the process and experience of taking part in the index invaluable and look forward to improving further in this year’s Index”.
To join the Rainbow Forum please email email@example.com. As an inclusive group, heterosexual/straight members who wish to support their LGBT colleagues are also welcome to join the Forum.
You can read more information about the Forum at Rainbow, or find out more by contacting Sarah Williams on 0113 237 5037 or email firstname.lastname@example.org