Whilst many of you have just submitted your WEI and thought you had seen the last of it for this year, I’m afraid we’ve come to disrupt that. But don’t fear - we are here to help you.

We are a group of four, from around the civil service, working with the Civil Service LGBT+ network in helping departments improve their position in the index. We want to create a culture across the networks where good practice is shared, and we all work collaboratively together in helping one another to improve the quality of their departments’ LGBT+ guidance, practices and policies.

You may have noticed within the index submissions there are sections that are outside of your department’s control, such as procurement. Therefore, it makes sense that we all work together to provide a stronger case, to both improve our procurement procedures and standardise how we respond within the index. Not only will this help reduce work load when filling in the index, but it is also a way to hold Stonewall to account, in making sure their marks are consistent across the board.

We are working towards producing a document ready for Spring 2019 that will help in all of this, but before we can get to that stage we need help from you. Over the next coming weeks we will be reaching out to department LGBT+ networks and/or D&I teams to talk about the WEI. We would be grateful to talk to you about your submission, your previous index rating and what your network and department does well.

This will all help shape the guidance we will produce, and most of all, we hope it will help you. Surely the best way to learn and improve is from one another?

Whilst this guidance won’t be perfect after one year, it can constantly be reviewed and adapted to continue to help you in your submissions. Whilst we understand the WEI has its competitive side, we are all at the end of the day, one civil service.

We look forward to working with you, to not only help with the index, but to help improve and enhance your networks and LGBT+ policy. We feel this will also help to improve the quality of our workplace life as LGBT+ civil servants. Please feel free to get in contact with us now if you would like to get started.

James Jefferson, Georgia Stokoe, Mark Topper, Nikita Jurowscy