The Home Office recognises the importance of having open and confident lesbian, gay and bisexual role models across all levels of seniority and take action to ensure role models are visible throughout the whole organisation. The Home Office’s LGBT Staff Network SPECTRUM provides support for the career development of its members with the specific aim of increasing the visibility of its members across the department.
As part of a SPECTRUM positive action initiative, senior ‘out’ leaders were trained to mentor less experienced members of staff, furthering the development opportunities available from the network and developing role models at all levels. Experienced coaches are matched to new SPECTRUM members upon their induction to the executive committee. Mentees taking part in this scheme have noticeably developed skills in areas such as public speaking and events management.
SPECTRUM has also taken steps to ensure their role models represent the diversity of the LGB population. SPECTRUM purposely selected lesbian, gay and bisexual leaders to develop
as coaches, so that individuals across all sexual orientations could recognise and relate to role models within the organisation.
In recognition of the low number of members from black and minority ethnic communities, SPECTRUM has consulted with Black Pride on how they can improve the visibility of positive gay role models for BME staff. As a result, SPECTRUM has increased efforts to make existing BME role models more visible. BME members of SPECTRUM were included in ‘Here Come the Girls’ a campaign to increase the visibility of lesbians in the Home Office. SPECTRUM also invited civil servant and Executive Director of Black Pride, Phyll Opoku-Gymiah to address their annual conference to share her experiences as a black, lesbian parent and her achievements as a community leader.