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Naomi Diver: Whilst being an ally all my life, it was only once I got involved in the network did I start to see that I could be doing a whole lot more

This month we hear from Civil Servants about allyship and how to be a good ally.

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By Naomi Diver

Naomi Diver is the Area Friends rep for the LGBT+ network at the Environment Agency

Another year as an ally…

My name is Naomi Diver, I am a freshwater ecologist but more importantly, an Area Friends rep for the LGBT+ network at the Environment Agency (EA). This is my third year being involved in the supporting the aims of the network. I will admit whilst being an ally all my life it was only once I got involved in the network, did I start to see that I could be doing a whole lot more.

Since starting my formal role, I have supported the network in a vast variety of ways such as attending local Prides and Trans awareness training, helping organise awareness events such as IDAHOBIT, proof reading emails/resources and dabbling in logo design.

The most enlightening thing to happen to me this year was being able to attend a truly fantastic Stonewall allies training day, which brought together allies from different parts of the business - from HR, area & national operations, to team leaders and upper Management. The attendee’s previous experience ranged from reasonably knowledgeable to openly unfamiliar. The training covered LGBT+ terminology, issues, obstacles and what we can do to help. I found the atmosphere very welcoming and extremely non-judgemental; the training was comprehensive and provoked a lot of discussion. Leaving the training I felt truly honoured to have met so many passionate, interesting fellow allies. I really look forward to keeping in contact with them to ensure we all maintain our active outlooks and continue to contribute to making the workplace a welcoming and understanding environment for everyone.

My proudest moment (so far) this year…

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Pride events all over the world have been cancelled this summer. However, technology is an amazing thing and this year the Environment Agency hosted a national week-long virtual pride event during pride month. I jumped at the chance to help create a rainbow version of a banner on our internet homepage. I felt this was something I was able to easily contribute towards, after several asks of logo/design help over the years. On the Monday of Pride week, I nervously clicked on the internet logo. I was warned that it might not work, the computer may say “NO” to any fiddling on the complex homepage. But to my joy there it was on my computer screen… which meant that everyone in the whole Environment Agency was being met with a temporary rainbow for a whole week. I felt proud that a very small effort on my part (approximately an hour) would hopefully make people in the EA feel seen, supported and understood, whilst also raising awareness of the activities going on during the week.

Why not check out if there are any virtual pride events going on that you can join in? Or in these self-evaluating times, try to read and educate yourself about all minority communities, be it LGBT+, BAME, disability or health related.

Let us all be honest; we all need a little bit of rainbow in our lives at the moment.  

Introducing our new resources for allies. Want to be a good ally to your LGBT+ colleagues? We’ve produced and collated a range of resources to help you.