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Sexual equality and diversity in UK local councils

Zorlu Senyucel (Royal Docks Business School, University of East London, London, UK)
Stephen Phillpott (Royal Docks Business School, University of East London, London, UK)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the recent introduction of equality and diversity initiatives to the workplace in the UK public sector. It provides an overview of the changing work patterns through the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees in UK local councils.


A case study has been conducted into the perceptions of managers and staff around council's approach and its impact on equality and diversity issues through a quantitative survey and a set of semi‐structured qualitative interviews. A framework of equality and diversity is constructed to create much needed linkages between the organisation's policies, processes and culture.


The study has revealed that despite a lack of promotion of the equalities framework, the “hard” notion of equality and diversity is understood and embedded in many parts of the organisation. However, there is little evidence that councils are perceived to have a clear organisational equality and diversity strategy, and there is little activity intended to encourage active discussion around the issue of sexual orientation, inhibiting the development of “soft” knowledge and of confidence in managing day‐to‐day issues of sexual orientation.


The paper illuminates the effectiveness of equality and diversity management strategies focusing on sexual orientation in UK local councils. The findings should be of value to policy makers who need to understand the needs of a diverse workforce in order to plan new ways of managing equality and diversity.



Senyucel, Z. and Phillpott, S. (2011), "Sexual equality and diversity in UK local councils", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 8, pp. 702-718.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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