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Allies in Action: Sam O’Neill

This week, we’re celebrating the allies making the Civil Service a great place to work for LGBT+ people. Sam works for the Department of Work and Pensions. Here, Sam shares their thoughts on being an ally.

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By Sam O’Neill

Civil Service allies Week

What’s your job role and where do you work?

I am an Employment Support Allowance Decision Maker for The Department for Work and Pensions.

How long have you been an ally?

I have been an LGBT+ ally for 30+ years.

Why do you think it’s important to be an ally, and to have allies within an office?

It is important to be an ally both in and out of the workplace but as we spend most of our time in work, people should not have to hide who they are or pretend to be something they are not for fear of ridicule or judgement. I feel it is important to get to know someone’s story, get to know people for who they are not what they are. I think you can only be your best when you’re being yourself and your sexual orientation or gender identity should never be an issue.

What have you done to be a visible ally within your office or what do you plan to do?

I am a Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination (BHD) officer and I am very aware of LGBTQ+ rights as part of my role. I will always call out inappropriate behaviour or language and have found that people are unaware what they are saying could be deemed offensive. It is important to remember, “banter” is not always harmless.

Civil Service allies Week is a chance to highlight the important role of LGBT+ allies in the Civil Service.

Find out more about Allies Week