On Saturday, more than 150 civil servants participated in the Pride in London parade. This year marked the 8th time that CSRA has led a Civil Service marching group. LGBT and straight ally staff marched together to show the inclusivity of the Civil Service.

Senior civil servants championing difference

For the second time, we were pleased to be joined by the Civil Service’s LGB&T Diversity Champion and DCMS Permanent Secretary, Sue Owen and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Richard Heaton.

Writing after the event, Sue said:

“Over the past year I have seen the passion and dedication that civil servants all over the country demonstrate when it comes to celebrating diversity and inclusion. On Saturday, for the second year running, I joined our Civil Service Rainbow Alliance colleagues marching at London Pride. Such events show how far we have come, but also remind us that we must continue to defend the right for all individuals to thrive and succeed, no matter their background or identity.”

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the UK Civil Service, also spoke out in support of LGBT staff on the day of the march, saying he wanted “the UK Civil Service to set the standard for diversity and inclusion” in an article for Pink News.

We marched together to #ChampionDifference

For many civil servants, marching at Pride is the best way to show how inclusive and open the Civil Service has become in recent years.

Dozens of government departments and agencies joined the Civil Service marching groups from across the UK. It was one of the Civil Service’s largest turn outs to date.

Charlotte Jackson, who works for the Ministry of Justice, takes part in Pride to be visible:

“Marching at Pride is immensely important to me as a LGBT role model. I’m not just marching for myself. I march to recognise those Pride heroes who have campaigned tirelessly to ensure our rights; to remember those who are no longer with us who suffered to live their lives truthfully and experienced hatred and violence; and to show solidarity with those who may still be suffering or struggling for acceptance. It is our day to be visible and champion difference.”

Government Digital Service employee, John Peart, also took part in the Parade:

“Being part of the Civil Service block allows me, as a gay civil servant, to show I’m proud; and not just of who I am. Carrying our banner on Saturday made me incredibly proud to be part of the Civil Service too. It’s great to be part of an organisation that supports LGBT staff to be themselves in the workplace.”

We’ll be marching again

CSRA will leading other Civil Service marching groups at Pride events across the UK this year, including Newcastle Pride in a few weeks time.

We also plan on marching again at Pride in London next year - we hope you’ll join us then!