RFL climbs 40 places in the Stonewall Top 100 Index

Date published: Thursday, January 12, 2012

The RFL has been named in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index for a second successive year, rising a remarkable 40 places to be named in 53rd position at Stonewall’s annual champagne reception on Wednesday January 11.
Last year saw the RFL become the first sporting organisation ever to enter the Stonewall Top 100 Employers in 93rd place in and remains the highest ranked sporting organisation currently listed in the top 100.
The Stonewall Workplace Index is the definitive national benchmarking exercise showcasing Britain’s top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) staff. The Index covers nine areas of policy and practice and ranks organisations against a range of criteria.
“We were delighted to enter the Stonewall Top 100 last year and to rise 40 places this year is a tremendous achievement for everyone involved with the RFL and Rugby League in general,” said RFL Chairman Richard Lewis.
“The RFL is committed to becoming one of the most LGB-inclusive employers in the country and the challenge for us now is not to rest on our laurels, but to keep developing our entire equality and diversity programme and continue the impressive progress we have made in recent years.”
The RFL’s rise up the rankings follows a year which witnessed Co-operative Championship side Sheffield Eagles become the first British sports club ever to wear a playing kit displaying an anti-homophobia message. The Eagles were joined by all 14 Super League clubs in showing their commitment to eradicate prejudice by signing the Government’s charter for action against homophobia and transphobia.
The RFL’s position as one of British sports most forward-thinking governing bodies was further emphasised when the RFL became the first UK Sports Governing body to launch ‘Tackling Homophobia’ guidance for clubs in early 2011.
“To be named in the Top 100 organisations in the country for a second successive year is a fantastic achievement for us,” said RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work into our policy implementation in recent years and it is great to see the RFL receiving public recognition for the efforts of everyone involved. To have risen 40 places in the Index is an outstanding result and to see the RFL up there with huge corporations is a huge boost for us all.
“Our aim now is to continue the improvements we have made in the past twelve months and continue rising up the Stonewall Index in the years to come.”
Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Laura Doughty commented: “Congratulations to the RFL for improving on their performance from 2011 and securing the 53rd position on the 2012 Stonewall Top 100 Employers list.
“Competition for a place in the Top 100 was fiercer than ever this year and with new, more demanding criteria, every employer securing a position in the Top 100 has performed impressively – and the participating employers collectively employ over 1.9 million people.”