Hi, I’m Dee and I lead on career development for the Civil Service LGBT+ Network, supported by Tom. We’re excited to tell you about our plans to make the career development offer for LGBT+ staff the best in the Civil Service and more importantly, how you can get involved and help!

As someone currently working in HR, I understand the importance of inclusion and enabling people to bring their whole selves to work. The Civil Service seeks to represent the society it serves and it’s important to have LGBT+ staff visible across all levels of the organisation. Research conducted by our predecessor network; the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance, found that many of you felt like you didn’t have access to the same career development opportunities as your straight, cis-gendered counterparts.

In response to this research, we launched our mentoring programme which was designed and delivered by our current chair John Peart. Since it’s launch more than 850 mentors and mentees have registered to take part, over 500 people have been given training and over 1000 mentoring matches have been facilitated. We’ve also picked up a Civil Service Award which recognises the amazing efforts and time dedicated by all those involved.

As we look to 2022, we want to build and expand on this success so that all LGBT+ civil servants, no matter their career aspirations, have opportunities to thrive and become the best version of themselves within the workplace.

We have three priorities for the next 12 months:

  1. deliver the next iteration of the mentoring programme
  2. support the delivery of the LGBT+ Network conference
  3. create a wider career development programme

Deliver the next iteration of the mentoring programme

We’re thrilled that our mentoring programme has helped so many of you and are proud of what we’ve delivered this year. We want to build on our success and work with you to deliver the next iteration of the programme. We will listen to what you have told us about the 2021 programme, what has and hasn’t worked and what we can do to improve it. We’ll refresh the supporting materials based on industry standards and your recommendations. And we’ll aim to re-launch the 2022 programme in April this year, keeping you informed each step of the way.

Support the delivery of the LGBT+ Summer Conference

We’re excited for the LGBT+ Network’s conference which is currently planned to take place both virtually and in person. We’ll work with the conference team to design and deliver a fantastic programme which makes best use of our hybrid approach, delivers interesting sessions, and provides access to relevant resources, both during and afterwards. After all, who doesn’t love a good conference!

Create a wider career development programme

Whilst we’ve got some exciting projects lined up for this year, we don’t want to lose sight of our overall ambition to make our career development offer the best in the Civil Service. We recognise this is the start of our journey and we want to look towards the future to identify relevant opportunities to expand on our offer based on your feedback. We want to engage with Civil Service HR to leverage access to existing data, information and resources. We want to better understand your career development needs and aspirations and we will feed this research into the design and launch of a bespoke programme in 2023.

So what next? Well, we need you to make it all happen! We need you to engage with us, respond to us and support us in realising our ambitions. We are looking for passionate, motivated and committed people to turn our vision into reality. So whether you currently work in HR or fancy an opportunity to develop and flex new skills, whatever your career background, we’d love you to join us in making a positive difference to the careers of 1000s of LGBT+ civil servants.

If you’d like to get involved, you can email me at dee@civilservice.lgbt.