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Civil Service

Civil Service organisations among Stonewall's best

Sue Owen

Congratulations to all the Civil Service departments and agencies who were ranked in the Stonewall 2016 Top 100 Employers list, published earlier this week.

The list showcases the best employers for lesbian, gay or bisexual staff, and celebrates pioneering efforts to create inclusive workplaces. More than 400 organisations - the highest number in the initiative’s 12-year history - contributed to the 2016 Workplace Equality Index, from which the top 100 are drawn.

The Home Office has again been named one of nine Stonewall Star Performers, having ranked in the top ten for at least three of the previous five years. You won’t find the Home Office in the top 100. As a Star Performer, they have graduated and will work with Stonewall on initiatives to define future best practice, sharing their expertise so that other organisations can follow in their footsteps.

Congratulations also to civil servants in the Welsh and Scottish Governments, the National Assembly for Wales, the Office for National Statistics, the Land Registry, and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service, who also came in the top 100.

Most of all, a huge well done to the the Security Service, MI5, who topped the list for the first time! This is an amazing achievement, underlining their commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Army, Navy, and MI6 also featured in the Top 100, so we can feel real 'Pride' in our protective services, generally!

New initiatives

Two women and a man in front of Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2015 banner
Winners of the 2015 Diversity & Inclusion Award for Championing LGB&T People, Kate Scot-Hughes and Ollie Entwistle, with Civil Service LGB&TI Champion Sue Owen

This success reflects the hard work on diversity that has been going on right across the Civil Service in 2015. To pull out just a few highlights: we refreshed the Civil Service Talent Action Plan, developed our two-year Removing Barriers programme, appointed internal diversity champions and external diversity advisors, signed up to the Stonewall ‘No Bystanders’ anti-bullying campaign, and have continued to expand our Positive Action Pathway. It’s an exciting time to be working in the Civil Service.

2016 will be just as busy as we push ahead with a range of new initiatives targeting recruitment and selection. In October, the Prime Minister announced that the Civil Service would be removing the names and other identifying indicators from selection panels to reduce the risk of unconscious bias affecting the results. We are also expanding the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme, specifically aimed at improving social mobility.

Our aim is, of course, for all government organisations to improve the score they are awarded by Stonewall every year. However, just going through the process itself is enormously beneficial. By doing so we gain the benefit of learning from others, but also get to share the good practice that we’ve developed ourselves. Stonewall has always given valuable feedback to all entrants.

Once again, congratulations to all parts of the Civil Service included in the Stonewall Top 100. You thoroughly deserve this recognition and I hope you are as proud of it as I am. I look forward to reporting back when the 2017 list is published on what I’m sure will be another successful year for our diversity agenda.

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  1. Comment by Chrissyblack posted on

    Sorry but I find if you aren't heterosexual you get promoted quicker and easier . It should be the best person for the job , not to fill a quota or because they are scared of looking like they are discriminating .And before you ask I'm gay myself.

  2. Comment by Gavin Thomas posted on

    Sue, Thank you for an interesting blog. Having being in the office for a considerable number of years, I can say that attitudes towards LGBT Staff and career opportunities have improved. However, as with those from under represented groups, there is still much work to be done before the Civil Service will be fully reflective of modern society. Especially, at the Senior level.

  3. Comment by Sunny posted on

    This positive spin does not reflect what the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance is reporting - that outside the progress of those specific departments mentioned, the civil service as a whole is falling behind in terms of LGB* equality, with numrous organisations slipping down the ranks or out of the top 100 altogether. Let's not be complacent.

  4. Comment by Philip Purdy posted on

    After just reading the article Civil Service organisations among Stonewall's best, and while the Civil Service should be seen as an equal opportunities employer for all. I have not seen any articles in the recent past mentioning hetrosexual, they have all been for gay employees. I hope we all represented equally in the Civil Service.

    • Replies to Philip Purdy>

      Comment by Jamil Ahmed posted on

      What kind of articles would you like to see on people who identify as heterosexual?

      You are aware that the reason why articles like this are published is because LGBTQ people are ostracised and discriminated against? Can the same be said of heterosexual people?

      • Replies to Jamil Ahmed>

        Comment by Martin Thompson posted on

        I work with or nearby several people who are gay but have never been ostracised or discriminated against. Sometimes the perception can be different from the reality.

        • Replies to Martin Thompson>

          Comment by Phil Hicks posted on


          It is highly unlikely that your gay colleagues have never been ostracised or discriminated against. Have you asked them about the negative experiences they have had as a result of their sexuality?

      • Replies to Jamil Ahmed>

        Comment by Bisexual civil servant posted on

        Spot on Jamil. It always irritates me when people from the majority category cry "oh pooor me, where is my article/support group/awareness week" etc - news flash, the rest of the world and media etc is about you - please give those of us who are in a minority category our moment. Heterosexuality is more than adequately represented in the world at large, to the extreme that is is presumed as default.

        Martin Thompson - just because a few of your colleagues have been fortunate doesn't mean you can erase the experience of a large proportion of LGBT people who HAVE experienced these things.