Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Conduct Authority’s LGBT+ network group, InsideOut, have stepped up their work to ensure that LGBT+ staff can access support structures that they might not have at home. In particular, they’ve hosted frequent drop-in spaces where members have stayed connected and discussed topics like physical and mental health, bi+ and lesbian visibility, LGBT+ families, and the experiences of minority ethnic and trans people.
Alongside this work, the network have continued to provide their longstanding support across the organisation. They offer confidential support to all employees on LGBT+ employees and advertise this widely in their London and Edinburgh offices. They deliver a wide range of awareness-raising campaigns and events, including a recent Lesbian Visibility Day campaign to showcase the voices of lesbian colleagues. They’re also in regular consultation with internal teams to improve practices for LGBT+ staff, most recently making the case for staff to have the ability to add their pronouns to the internal directory.
Inclusivity and accessibility are central to the work of the network. They carefully consider how they run their events to ensure that everyone can participate and work hard to make sure the network meets the needs of the most underrepresented LGBT+ communities. Part of this is hosting specific monthly spaces for members across the regulatory family, who identify as women, bi+ and non-binary.
InsideOut is leading the way in its work to consistently highlight and address the intersectional nature of LGBT+ inequalities. The network closely collaborates with others to do this, for example holding a series of events on LGBT+ and BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) identities with their BAME network, Spectrum. They’ve worked with their internal gender equality network to host a cross-regulatory panel event focusing on bi+ experiences through the lens of gender and non-binary perspectives. They held a joint panel event with their Faith and Roots network, where colleagues heard from faith leaders about the intersection of faith and their LGBT+ identities. They also collaborated with the internal international staff network to co-host an event focused on the experiences of LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers, with the support of the charity Rainbow Migration.
Not only has InsideOut led inclusion progress within the Financial Conduct Authority, they’ve also extended this support across the wider public sector. The network co-leads both StandOut, for financial regulators, and Out in Public, for Scottish public sector organisations. Both ‘networks of networks’ create spaces where organisations can share good practice, overcome common challenges and inspire each other. The network’s efforts have ensured that LGBT+ inclusion – and inclusion as a whole – continues to be built into the fabric of the organisation and the wider sector.