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Standards of behaviour - why we've set them

A couple of weeks ago we wrote some new standards of behaviour for our events, this blog is to explain why.

Published

By Kate Hughes, Chair, Civil Service LGBT+ Network

For reasons that won’t have escaped anyone we’ve been doing more events online over the last year or so.

Online events are brilliant levellers in many ways. They’ve allowed us to run events when we want to, not just when we can book a room large enough. We’ve been able to open them up to more people, across more organisations and from across the UK (and probably the world but we don’t actually keep track!). They’ve enabled more people to access events from a practical perspective too; you no longer have to trek down Whitehall or across your hub to get to a 45 minute event at lunchtime. Now you can fit it in between back to back meetings or alongside your lunch break; whatever works for your calendar.

We think this way of doing things is better than what we did before. More people can benefit because more people can take part.

Sadly it isn’t all positives though. Events that we attend remotely can bring out our inner keyboard warrior. Where we aren’t interacting in a room, it’s easier to lose sight of how our comments can affect other people. We want to make sure that this isn’t a trap that we as a network fall into, and we want to be clear that we expect everyone engaging with our network to treat each other with respect, regardless of any differences in identity, life experience or beliefs.

To help to do this, we’ve created a Standards of Behaviour statement. The statement is our way of making it clear what is, and what is not, acceptable behaviour at our events.

Our network exists to make sure everyone can come to work each day feeling safe to be themselves. We hope that you will all agree with us that this makes it easier and clearer for everyone to know what we expect so we can achieve that.