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What happened at our latest Leaders of Networks Forum

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

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By James Jefferson

Thank you to the Department Network Leads who attended or dialled in to our Leaders of Networks forum on Thursday 4th February. It was a useful discussion and we look forward to working with you over the next year.

Please find below a brief note of the meeting. The team will be in contact with attendees to follow up on any actions.

Civil Service LGB&TI Champion update

Jonathan Slater updated the group on his first year in the role and highlighted that his priorities for this year will focus on microaggressions, bullying and harassment. He noted he was looking into arranging a meeting with other permanent secretaries on how they can make improvements across the Civil Service for LGBT+ colleagues from the people survey data.

CSLGBT+ Network achievements and priorities for 2020

In 2019, the network set up the Network of Leaders forum, carried out an analysis of departments submissions to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index [WEI], had a presence at Prides around the country and a float at Pride in London. We set up BiSpace, created a bisexuality fact sheet and through our regional reps more networking events were established outside of London. The network also had engagement with Civil Service HR on LGBT+ training throughout the employee lifecycle. In addition, the network attended a meeting with the No10 policy unit in December, along with Jonathan Slater and the agender network. This was to discuss how we can use our networks and champion roles to help with LGBT+ inclusive policy across government. In 2020, the network plans to expand our pride presence throughout the regions, develop the WEI work with the CSD&I team, focus on intersectionality and launch a Civil Service version of the GEO LGBT survey.

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

The network congratulated the Ministry of Justice and Welsh Government for their top 10 place in the Workplace Equality Index. A further congratulations was extended to the other networks with departments/agencies placed in the top 100, a full list can be found here. The group were updated on the work going on around Stonewall WEI. It was noted that an analysis had been undertaken using departments feedback from the 2019 submissions. This piece of work has been useful in sharing good practice amongst departments, while also collating useful data to assist other departments in seeking guidance from others. The group discussed the inconsistencies with scores of the submissions and the value of the WEI amongst the different departments. It was noted that there is a variance between departments on who completes the submission (the network and HR). The group were advised on the on-going working group led by Civil Service HR on common issues across the board such as procurement and learning and development.

Ways of working

The network agreed to provide guidance to network chairs on our working processes and how we can use our platforms (website and mailing list) to better assist department networks reach a wider audience. It was reiterated that we are a volunteer led group and our capacity varies at times. Membership to the CSLGBT+ network is individual, but we also exist to support departmental networks through our contact networks, by helping departments to collaborate, share events and best practice across the Civil Service. It was agreed the Leaders of Network forum should take place quarterly, focusing on common issues that we can use to the time to discuss. Each network agreed to circulate the top three things they need help with, and the top three things they are good at. Once network leads have sent this over to us we will collate it and form a forward look. To ensure everyone is kept up to date, the network advised chairs to sign up to our network mailing list, so they receive communications.

LGBT+ History Month

The network updated the group on cross government events happening over LGBT+ history month and invited departments to share any open events with us to post on our website. Please check the website for the latest events.

Pride

The network will bid for a place at Pride in London, while supporting a more organic grassroots presence across the UK at other prides. We are able to provide t-shirts and placards to regional reps. We will continue with our pink branding to reduce costs and maximise visibility. The network will also look to have a presence at Black Pride and Bi Pride. The network notified other network leads that they could bid for Pride in London tickets, through their department and pool these centrally with the CSLGBT+ network to increase our capacity.

AOB

The network is looking to provide more focused support for allies. Therefore, we are interested to hear from departmental networks about their thoughts and ideas on how we can work towards this goal. We will also be bringing back Allies Week in the coming months with more details to follow soon.

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.