Stonewall and work policies

(14 Posts)
Teaandcakeordeath83 Thu 14-Oct-21 17:57:50

Our trust has been stonewalled. Is there any recourse or do I keep quiet to keep my job?


Here’s part of the feedback from last year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. I looked it up having flicked through this years survey and deciding that if they aren’t collecting useful data (i.e. on sex too) then I won’t be taking part. “Regarding your parental policies, the policy is inclusive of same sex partners, but more needs to be done for the policy to be trans inclusive. We recommend that you remove the terms "mother" and "father" from the body of your policies, in order to ensure that everyone within your organisation is covered by your policies. Your definition of who the policy applies to can still include the term "mother" and refer to any relevant government legislation, but we’d recommend using gender neutral language in the body of the policy. You may find the following terms useful: "pregnant employee"; "birth parent" and then "second parent"; "parent who has given birth" or "new mothers and other pregnant employees". Please see Stonewall’s inclusive policy toolkit which has further guidance on this.”


Looked at our “maternity policy” which is now called the “parents policy”. It’s all birthing person, person giving birth, pregnant person, birth parent or you…  No mention of mothers- unless you’re a surrogate mother which I assume they forgot to remove the word “mother”. You can access maternity support leave for the second parent though as long as you’re the “baby’s biological father”. Then I noticed the menopause policy. It’s had the same treatment. Apparently “Most people will experience menopausal symptoms” and there’s specific information on how menopause can affect Trans and NB people…


I’m fed up of it. This isn’t inclusive language if it erases the word women. By removing “Women” from a policy about menopause it implies that I should be worried about 3 in 4 employees having menopause symptoms and 1 in 4 experiencing severe symptoms. We employ men and women- with a range of gender identities. I’m pretty sure though that those biological men who identify as men will not be experiencing menopause or any of its symptoms.


Is there a point in me raising this? Our department is very young and errs towards the tra side, a colleague has already been called a terf (nothing done about it- she was told to educate herself…) in the past and I feel that they’re all pretty much captured under the ‘lets be kind’ club. .

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MrsOvertonsWindow Thu 14-Oct-21 18:47:30

The Nolan Investigates podcast has been exploring this very thing. I think this episode covers how the BBC were told in the same way by Stonewall to remove the word mother from maternity policies:

That extract reads as if it's been written by Incels Incorporated - no mention of the words woman / mother allowed. They must be eradicated sad

RightsHoardingRaptor Thu 14-Oct-21 18:55:13

I agree that you should listen to the Nolan podcast. According to their research It looks like companies are looking to gain notoriety on the equality champions index which Stonewall judge them on and then sell them courses to help them improve on when they audited them in the first place. Massive conflict of interest.

Scraggythang Thu 14-Oct-21 18:56:57

Stonewall have literally got in everywhere! No wonder they are so hellbent on driving this ideology forward, it’s making them rich rich RICH!

There’s going to be a fallout soon, I can really see it coming.

OhHolyJesus Thu 14-Oct-21 19:09:10

Other advice here OP.

Stonewall have arrived at my workplace

How much does it cost them to be a part of this scheme? I assume there are better places to spend the money?

If they don't accurately reflect the protected characteristic of sex in the EA they could be open to discrimination cases - see link in other thread.

Eucalyptustrees Thu 14-Oct-21 19:39:55

Removing the word mother from maternity policies has to be an all time low.

This happened where I work and I have pondered on how to react.

I am glad I became a mother before it became impermissible for the organisation I work at to acknowledge that I was becoming a mother.

I know the people that have done this. All they have achieved is my contempt.

Scraggythang Thu 14-Oct-21 19:51:47

I’ve been struggling relating with my social group regarding self ID and gender ideology and all that goes with it and now I’m starting to realise that they all work for large corporate companies which are probably all stonewall affiliated. My partner and I have only ever been self employed or worked for small businesses.


Teaandcakeordeath83 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:08:24

I've just started reading a sex matters workplace resource I found on the thread @ohholyjesus posted so thanks for that. This part has stood out so far:

"If data is collected incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, companies may not long satisfy the legal basis needed to collect the data. In particular where the legal basis is consent, this could be invalidated if the data subject is consenting to the wrong thing.

If an employer states the purpose is supporting compliance with the Equality Act 2010, it
should monitor the protected characteristics. It can also choose to ask for information on
additional characteristics in line with its own policies, but it should be clear what these
are. Special categories of data which need to be handled with more care include information
about political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs and physical or mental health.

Data on belief or lack of belief in gender identity is sensitive information. Replacing a
straightforward question about sex in equality monitoring with one about gender identity (or
in effect confusing people into answering about sex and then processing the data as if it
indicated a belief in gender identity) is a misuse of personal data and is likely to be
challenged.Forcing or tricking a female employee into ticking a box which declares her to have the same "gender identity" characteristic (innate femininity) as a man who identifies as a woman is compelling her to state a belief that she doesn't have. Constructing the form in such a way that she had to "out" herself as gender critical in order to avoid this is demanding sensitive information.

This approach to monitoring is contrary to the advice of the EHRC which developed a set of
recommended questions which allow people to answer separately about their sex (as
recorded at birth), the sex they consider themselves to be, whether they are going through or
have gone through any part of a process of transition (i.e. being covered by the protected
characteristic) and how they would describe themselves."

I'm absolutely furious that a questionnaire to establish our trusts diversity and inclusion rates has comprehensively removed sex from the discussion. I don't know where else they will capture accurate sex based information. It's probably why our trust is absolutely awful at promotion opportunities for part time women (child care etc) as we don't bloody exist. The menopause policy I mentioned earlier quotes "the menopause society" as the information source- yet when you go onto that site they're perfectly happy and able to say that WOMEN go through menopause. Not "people".

I've started listening to the podcast today so should have it finished by next week. I may have some sort of heart attack with the sheer fury that this is giving me before then though.

I am going to contact HR so I'm going to have to write a very comprehensive letter. I'm really quite nervous that I'm going to be labelled transphobic because the "no debate" stance has utterly poisoned the well to the extent that disagreement over sex based rights instantly equals transphobia (I'm categorically not any sort of phobic except for beans 🤢 and crocodiles). I'm a unite rep too (also captured), our HR equality/inclusion policies are currently under review (due to the covered up institutional racism being very publicly exposed in a organisation report). From the bits I've skim read over they're shoe- horning a lot of stonewall's gender recommendations in there. I don't even know where to start. It's so infuriating and overwhelming all at once.

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Teaandcakeordeath83 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:10:35

Urgh. I have no idea why Mumsnet keeps removing my paragraphs.... Is there something else I need to do other than putting in the spacing (enter button ..)?

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Eucalyptustrees Thu 14-Oct-21 20:30:53

I don't know where else they will capture accurate sex based information

Employers already have male and female data for everyone. It's a mandatory HMRC field in payroll and used for equal pay audits and gender pay gap reports.

The optional identity fields aren't used for very much.
This is seap

OhHolyJesus Thu 14-Oct-21 20:34:25

May the fury drive you on OP, rather than give you a heart attack! I know what you mean but you have a very clear place to channel it. Use it.

There are quite a few links you could share, just by trawling through this board and the Feminism Chat board (before it split into two).

At risk of raising your blood pressure I'm guessing you've seen this...

This from 2018

And this

(The latter has some good threads about BSUH)

Justme56 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:34:43

Gender neutral language is dehumanising. To promote 'inclusion' in the workplace they need 'inclusive' language. There is a big difference.

Teaandcakeordeath83 Thu 14-Oct-21 22:02:05

@eucalyptustrees sorry what do you mean "this is seap"?

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Eucalyptustrees Thu 14-Oct-21 22:57:06

I have no idea @Teaandcakeordeath83

Multi tasking gone wrong.

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