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ONS for Cardiff Mardi Gras

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be joining the party at Cardiff Mardi Gras on Saturday 31 August, to raise awareness of the sexual identity question in the Integrated Household Survey, and the results published from this survey.

Field interviewers, who conduct ONS social surveys, and representatives of Spectrum, the ONS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans network, will be available at the Mardi Gras marketplace, to explain how ONS collects data on society. They are hoping to increase participation levels in social surveys and particularly responses to the sexual identity question.

ONS social survey data are used by government, education and business for a huge range of purposes, and help policy-makers take decisions affecting society and the economy.

In 2007 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) led a cross-government Review of Equality Data which found that there was a lack of sufficient and reliable sources of data on sexual orientation. It recommended the introduction of a question on sexual identity for household surveys to address this gap. ONS introduced the question on the Integrated Household Survey in January 2009.

A wide range of data are now available from ONS regarding sexual identity and how it fits in with other information on social, economic and health issues.

Paul Hossack, from Spectrum, said, “I’m proud to represent ONS at Mardi Gras as this is a great opportunity for ONS to promote its work on social surveys to a wider audience, and to show the LGBT community how they can contribute to improving our knowledge of society by participating in surveys.”

ONS has been recognised by Stonewall as one of the top 100 employers in their Workplace Equality Index across UK.  ONS was named 40th across the UK and 6th in Wales, while Spectrum network was named the best employee network group in Wales. ONS is keen to continue moving up the index, engaging with the LGBT community at events such as Mardi Gras.