Thank you to Departmental Network Leads and network members who joined our Leaders of Networks forum on Thursday 30th July. As always it was a useful discussion and it was great to hear how everyone has adapted to support their members over the past few months. Please find below a brief note of the meeting. The team will be in contact with attendees to follow up on any actions.
The Civil Service LGBT+ Network thanked all members and volunteers for their invaluable contribution to PrideON. The group spoke about the success of the month and its reach to all Civil Servants. The group were shown the ‘Virtual Parade’ which provided an overview to all the activities that took place.
Future points of discussion
The group split into breakout rooms to discuss areas of discussion for future forums. This is to ensure the forum is best utilised as a space for problem solving and sharing best practice. A full list of discussion points will be distributed in advance of the next meeting.
The group discussed the use of different flags across the public and private sector, noting the increased use of the ‘Progress Pride Flag’. It was discussed how the progress flag better represented people of colour and the trans community. CSLGBT+ Network advised that departments are to be guided by their own networks on what flags to use – as long as they can provide reassurance that the flag is not controversial and/or will not cause offence to any parts of the community. The Network will look into wider Civil Service communications on using the updated progress flag. The group were also updated on the work taking place between the BEIS LGBT+ Network and the CSLGBT+ Network, where they have been delivering awareness sessions focused on LGBT+ history and the breakdown of the pride progressive flag. This has opened conversation to what individuals identify with, why we should have this flag and how this will challenge discrimination in our community. Feedback from attendees have been overwhelmingly positive and the CSLGBT+ Network is looking to deliver similar sessions.
The forum discussed the upcoming response to the Gender Reform Act. Both the Civil Service LGBT+ Network and a:gender Network continues to support its trans members during this time. If you have any specific queries on this, please email us directly.
CS Reform/ Shaping our future
The forum discussed the launch of the ‘Shaping our future’ prospectus at Civil Service Live. As Civil Service LGBT+ networks, we have an opportunity to provide our collective views to the modernisation and reform team to ensure that diversity and inclusion, specifically LGBTI+ diversity and inclusion, are integral parts of the ‘Shaping our future’ programme. The network advised they would be coordinating a central response from our network to the prospectus, but encouraged all networks to send their own response to the consultation to strengthen our views, and where relevant, lobby the ‘reform champions’ in your organisations to bring these views to the table.
The Civil Service LGBT+ Network updated the group on the upcoming planned network survey. The purpose of this survey is to take a temperature check on how we as a network are performing, get some insight on what you’d like to see more or less of, and create a strong evidence base of your views on key workplace issues so that we can more effectively lobby CSHR and other key stakeholders for the changes our membership would like to see. The outcome will be our refreshed strategy with the key priority areas we will have identified. We plan to run a consultation with network chairs on the skeleton of the survey, which we hope to circulate to you all in the coming weeks.
Diversity and Inclusion Awards
The group discussed the launch of the CS D&I awards and encouraged departmental networks and members to nominate LGBT+ colleagues to recognise the invaluable work they have been doing across the Civil Service in promoting Diversity and Inclusion. The group raised the visibility of the awards across the Civil Service, since some had not heard about them through their departmental communication channels. The network has taken this away as an action to the CS D&I team.
The network has published an Asexual factsheet and resources for allies. The forum was invited to suggest future factsheets that the network could produce and distribute to Civil Servants.
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.