Media regulator Ofcom withdraws from Stonewall diversity program

Media regulator Ofcom withdraws from Stonewall diversity program

by Pranali Mehta

The Office of Communications (Ofcom), UK’s media regulator, has reportedly dropped out of the equality workplace initiative run by Stonewall, the most well-known LGBTQ+ organization in Britain. Ofcom stated that it withdrew from the program because it needs to remain independent and neutral at all times.

For the uninitiated, the Stonewall Diversity Champions program offers advice and assistance to its members on how to make workplaces more inclusive and safe for everyone in the community.

Stonewall stated that it supports Ofcom's decision to remain neutral and committed to serving as the UK’s communications regulator. However, it added that it is disappointed that its scheme has been perceived as being biased and unimpartial.

For an annual membership fee, the program provides members advice on topics such as using gender-neutral pronouns in the workplace, and whether to allow transgender people to use single-sex toilets.

The Diversity Champions scheme is home to hundreds of non-profits and government agencies, including the BBC.

With its announcement, Ofcom is the latest company to pull out the program. In March, the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) announced to the public that it is withdrawing from the program due to cost concerns.

In the company’s role as regulator of communications, some of its key responsibilities include maintaining the integrity and impartiality of communications networks. Despite the challenges, the organization remains committed to ensuring the rights of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.

Ofcom has confirmed that although it has left the Diversity Champions program, the agency will still participate in the equality index, a scale developed by Stonewall wherein employers are rated and evaluated based on how well they handle diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Additionally, it also stated that after having laid down the groundwork for improving support for its LGBTQ+ employees through the program, the organization is confident it can move forward in a positive manner without continued involvement in the Diversity Champions scheme.

Trans rights are the subject of a heated debate and Ofcom’s withdrawal can be interpreted as an effort to avoid being perceived as taking sides.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...