LGBT at the WAO

lgbt-flagYes, we like an acronym.  We also like diversity in our workforce, where all differences matter.

When I attended Stonewall’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) role model training, it shocked me to find that 75% of people who are LGBT are less likely to be ‘out’ at work.  This means that they are unable to be themselves for a large part of the day, which in hard business terms means untapped potential.

Providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive place to work is important to us here at the Wales Audit Office.  As the Director of Finance & HR and an LGBT role model, I want the Wales Audit Office to be a great place to work that embraces diversity and allows staff to be themselves so that they can give their best.

If you are thinking of applying for a job with us, I expect you are wondering whether you can be yourself if you work here?  The simple answer is yes, you can.

Firstly – you can help us by completing your personal information fully on the diversity monitoring form when you apply, with the understanding that we will keep it strictly confidential.  The recruiting panel do not see it at all.  We use the data, collated across the business, to improve our corporate understanding of any potential equality impacts of our decisions and to help us plan further improvements.  You can see our current diversity statistics in our Annual Equality Report .

Secondly – if your application is successful and you come to work with us, you will be able to join our LGBT+ staff network, Spectrum.  Spectrum provides informal events giving the opportunity to discuss LGBT+ and other matters in a relaxed setting.  Often, discussions help inform considerations of our Equality Interest Group, which consists of employees representing the interests of protected groups.

Thirdly – and most importantly, you can be yourself.  We are an inclusive and supportive place to work, where we treat people with respect, welcome diversity and care about the well-being of colleagues.

The Wales Audit Office is a Diversity Champion member of Stonewall UK and we participate in the Workforce Equality Index so that we can benchmark our arrangements against the Top 100 LGBT friendly employers in the UK.  We are working hard to form part of that top 100!

So, I wish you all the very best with your application and I look forward to welcoming you to our Spectrum group…

Is your future at the Wales Audit office? Find out more about our graduate trainee programme [opens in new window]

About the author

Steve O'Donoghue on a bridge overlooking the Thames River

Steve O’Donoghue was appointed Director of Finance and Human Resources for the Wales Audit Office in April 2014.  Prior to that, his career covered local government, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the National Assembly for Wales Commission.

Steve is a senior role model for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) matters and a member of WAO’s Equality Interest Group.

Steve is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and represents Wales on CIPFA Council.

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