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What happened at the second Leaders of Networks Forum

We recently held our second Leaders of Networks Forum. This is what happened.

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By Kate Hughes

Last month, we hosted our second Leaders of Networks Forum, this post shares some of the highlights from the meeting.

The Leaders of Networks Forum is open to anyone who helps to lead a Civil Service LGBT+ staff network, it exists to share news of what the Civil Service LGBT+ Network is doing and to give departmental LGBT+ network leaders a space to share experiences, frustrations, resources, ideas and solutions.

The next Leaders of Networks Forum is on 11 July 2019. Find out more on our events page

Pride 2019

We started with the hot topic of Pride which generated a lot of lively debate around which Pride events we should be supporting. I outlined the work that CSLGBT+ Network had done with Sue Owen and the CSD&I team to drive the business case for central funding for Pride events. The funding has been agreed by Permanent Secretaries for:

  • London
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Belfast
  • Newcastle
  • Preston

We will be supporting other events but not funding them as they aren’t part of the business case.

Pride in London is the most complex to organise with the earliest deadlines so that has a focus right now, we have managed to secure a large float and a walking group and we have run a ticket lottery so we can confirm who does have a ticket early enough to make appropriate arrangements. (The allocations will be sent to those that entered the lottery next week).

The issue of people getting tickets and then not turning up was raised. This year we are going to be letting people know well in advance and the group agreed that anyone who doesn’t attend and wastes a ticket won’t be eligible to get a ticket for the next two years. We also discussed that the group needs to be more obviously diverse than it has in previous years as well.

We’ll be putting details of the Pride celebrations that we are supporting on the Events webpage so keep an eye out there. If you’re organising something for a pride event and you want us to advertise it let us know.

Civil Service LGBT+ Survey

Next we moved on to the survey that we are planning to run to get more information on the workplace experiences of LGBT+ civil servants. This builds upon the results of the Civil Service People Survey and the National LGBT Survey so we can get more information on exactly how LGBT+ civil servants feel and how we benchmark against the rest of the public sector (from the National LGBT Survey). There was an interesting discussion around what it would be useful to include from a cross-government perspective and from a departmental perspective, our next steps are to look at the survey questions and identify what we are going to include in the survey before launching it later in the year.

Civil Service Awards

We discussed the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Awards; nominations for that closed 1st May. The D&I Awards give us a chance to remind ourselves of what we are really good at and celebrate the individuals, teams and networks up and down the country who are doing great work on LGBT+ issues. 

Two categories of particular interest were the Championing LGBTI Inclusion Award and the Employee Network Excellence Award.

We are also going to be feeding back on the process to the Civil Service D&I team as part of a review in advance of next year’s awards, any comments please email them to us.

Civil Service Live

We have workshops at each of the Civil Service Live events this year. We’re looking for local civil servants to help facilitate these (LGBT+ and well informed allies), we are also looking for LGBT+ civil servants to support this. For more information please read our recent blog post.

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

The last section of the meeting focussed on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. We have three separate working groups across government working on this at the moment, one being run by Jonathan Slater, one by the Civil Service D&I team and one by us. We agreed to set up a meeting in the next few weeks between the network leaders to look at this in more detail and identify what the barriers are to disclosing results across government, where we can identify good practice and what the next steps should be.

We held a Network Leaders meeting on 20th May to look at this from a CSLGBT+ Network and departmental networks perspective.

Honours

We had a discussion around the Honours system and agreed that it would be good to nominate more LGBT+ civil servants and allies who have done work on LGBT+ issues through both their civil service roles and in a voluntary capacity. To nominate someone, visit GOV.UK.