Riverside straight ally recognised by Stonewall

Following success in retaining its place in Stonewall’s top 100 LGBT employers list, Riverside is celebrating another award from the campaigning organisation.

Communications officer, Roisin Rowley-Smith, was last week awarded North West Ally of the Year, for her work to profile LGBT equality at work, at a Manchester awards event hosted by Stonewall.

Abby Crawford, Stonewall’s account manager, said: “Allies are absolutely critical in creating inclusive workplaces for LGBT people. Roisin works tirelessly to ensure that her colleagues can be themselves at work, and I’m really happy that this has been formally recognised by Stonewall. Riverside is very fortunate to have such a fantastic ally to help drive their good work forward.”

The award recognised Roisin’s work to develop a network of allies, Friends of Spectrum, to champion LGBT equality rights for colleagues. Riverside’s Spectrum group is the LGBT staff network, which has in previous years received accolades from Stonewall, as a Star Performer Network group.

roisin and Abby portraitRoisin said: “It’s everybody’s job to make workplaces LGBT friendly. Spectrum works really hard to make sure LGBT equality is maintained at Riverside. But Stonewall research proves that straight allies have a really important role to play in making everyone feel comfortable being themselves at work.

Standing up as an ally sends out a positive message to LGBT colleagues who might be considering coming out at work.

People should feel comfortable enough to make that choice, and not feel like they have to leave their real selves at home.”

Members of Friends of Spectrum sign up to a mission statement and commit to learning more about LGBT equality, challenge inappropriate language, signpost colleagues towards support and wear a Spectrum rainbow badge as a visible signal of their status as Friends.

John Glenton, co-chair of Spectrum added: “Roisin has been a fantastic support to me since I became co-chair of Spectrum. She has developed a great breadth of knowledge around LGBT issues and is a shining example of an ally who can be totally relied upon.”