Charlotte Jackson - Ministry of Justice LGBT Network Chair
I work in a large and open department in Whitehall, with quite a lot of openly LGBT personnel.
Inclusion is ingrained in the civil service but I still learnt a lot from going on the Stonewall Role Model training.
The civil service is so strong because at a senior level it challenges itself about inclusion and how that is part of the culture. There are senior visible leaders of the LGBT community – within our department, we have two senior champions who get involved in our networks.
However, working in government in London is different to being LGBT outside London even within the civil service. Being based in a Whitehall department there is quite a lot of solidarity and a lot of other out LGBT people.
I think of those people who might work in a court in the North West or the North East or in a prison down in the South West and who identify as LGBT and they still need to know that the support is there and that there are people championing them at all levels of the organisation.
As Chair of the Ministry of Justice LGBT Network, I am involved in seeing how policies impact the LGBT community, to offer support and signposting to staff and champion the department. Staff members who identify as LGBT or as allies get to tell their stories by blogging on the intranet.
Last year I became the women’s officer of the cross-civil service network, the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance. We encourage staff members to network and take up training opportunities including those offered by Stonewall.
I learnt a lot from the Stonewall Role Model training day."
And I learnt a lot from the Stonewall Role Model training day. The people on the course were all at different stages of being role models and we shared our stories.
Some of them had just set up a network, some had just come out and others had been told to go on the day by their line managers.
I was proactive and decided to go on it myself. People were from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and academia and they all had different levels of confidence.
What I took away was a number of great tips and insights into becoming a better role model. We also built a network and still keep in touch across the different sectors and being a confident public speaker I have spoken at a number of events through the network I met on the course. It has all been a great experience.
I came away feeling incredibly energised.
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