The Crown Prosecution Service’s LGBT Network has been running for eleven years and has around 125 members. Over the last year they have particularly focused on career development and engaging senior staff in the work of the network. Part of this initiative involved commissioning a tailored in-house leadership programme developed by Stonewall. This was launched alongside a comprehensive communications strategy which included posting a daily fact about LGBT culture or history for each day of LGBT History Month and holding an awards ceremony celebrating difference.
The leadership programme, open to all gay staff, enabled delegates to explore how sexual orientation impacts on the work they do. Senior leaders – including the Chief Executive – acted as sponsors for the programme. The opportunity to have open and honest conversations with LGBT staff has strengthened the relationship between the network and senior management, developing the framework to take forward initiatives aimed at signalling senior management support for LGBT staff.
A second key focus for the network this year has been to increase support for LGBT staff. The network has highlighted the careers of a number of gay role models and established a network of straight allies across the organisation to act as a support structure for LGBT staff. This has helped engender a change in organisational culture by challenging inappropriate behaviour and addressing unconscious bias.