This summer, hundreds of Civil Service staff have been taking part in Pride events across the country. So far, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) staff and allies have been to London, Nottingham, and Hull Pride - and more will be attending Edinburgh Pride amongst others in August.
More than 100 staff attended Pride in London march, including Permanent Secretaries from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry of Justice.
Why we take part in Pride
Everyone who attends these Pride events from the Civil Service does so in their spare time: they don’t have to march, and they don’t have to join the Civil Service group. But they do, and for many they do it every year. But why?
For as long as Pride marches have happened the purpose has been to put a face to LGBT people, and to show that we are not to be feared but to be loved and embraced. Civil servants come to Pride events for lots of reasons. For some it’s about that visibility of people like them; for others it’s to show support for their LGBT colleagues.
We organise the Civil Service’s participation in Pride for a simple reason: because it allows everyone to see the inclusive and open Civil Service we aspire to be.
Representing the diversity of the public we serve
The Civil Service is at its best when it understands what the public needs and when it reflects the diversity of the country as a whole. When people from diverse backgrounds are involved in creating the public services we all rely on, we get better services that work for everyone.
Diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service has been a top priority for the Cabinet Secretary and Civil Service Board for several years. Attending Pride events is just one way we can demonstrate how diverse we are, and highlight how far we still have to go.
Pride isn’t the end
Of course, Pride events come but once a year - but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing we are doing to support LGBT staff. CSRA is working on several things that will help to promote the visibility and well being of LGBT staff over the next year.
LGBT Impact Index
Earlier this year, we launched our LGBT Impact Index which celebrates LGBT role models, allies, teams and networks in the Civil Service. We’ll be announcing the winners in October - so make sure you’re registered on our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date.
LGBT History Month
We’ve started thinking about how we can celebrate LGBT History Month in 2018. If you want to get involved in your department or to volunteer with us, get in touch.
Our action plan
In late 2015 we published our action plan and have been working to deliver this over the last 18 months.
Until next time…
We’ll be organising participation in Pride again next year, as always, because it’s important we are visible and that we are counted. If you’d like to help us next year, get in touch.