The Rt.Hon. Francis Maude, MP – Minister for the Cabinet Office – has appointed the former Chief Executive of Stonewall, Ben Summerskill, OBE to produce a report on the barriers faced by LGB* and also T civil servants.

The Rt.Hon. Francis Maude, MP – Minister for the Cabinet Office – has appointed the former Chief Executive of Stonewall, Ben Summerskill, OBE to produce a report on the barriers faced by LGB* and also T civil servants. This builds on the work that CSRA did on the same topic in 2010. The timetable for this project is incredibly tight. The work was commissioned at the end of September and is due to report around December.

To date, CSRA has been working very closely with Ben Summerskill and the Cabinet Office to ensure that this report reflects the real views of our members. Some of the ways we have done this include:

  • Organising a focus group for departmental network leads to feed in the views of networks
  • Organising a focus group with a cross-section of CSRA members – chosen at random – to give a grass roots perspective of what it is like to work in the Civil Service
  • Recommending colleagues from the Devolved Administrations and the regions of England to take part in a series of 1-to-1 interviews with Ben Summerskill
  • Recommending colleagues from the Senior Civil Service to be interviewed on their perspectives of diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service
  • Meeting with Ben Summerskill directly to feed in our perspective on the barriers faced by LGB* civil servants, based on what you have told us over the past year. We have also covered transgender issues where a:gender have been unavailable.
  • Meeting with the Cabinet Office regularly to ensure that a survey of LGB* and T civil servants is fit for purpose.

 And, it is on this last point, that we now wish to focus.

Survey of LGB* and T staff

On Monday, the Civil Service will launch an online survey to understand the barriers that prevent LGB* and T civil servants from progressing in their careers. This survey gives you the chance to shape the culture, policies and behaviours that may affect your career progression. The Cabinet Office want the views of all civil servants but they are especially targeting the following groups in this survey: BME (black and minority ethnic) employees, LGB* & T (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) employees and employees with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions.

This follows on from a similar exercise around gender issues, which is available here . It also delivers on one of the commitments in the recently published Talent Action Plan.

The survey has been developed in consultation with thee cross-departmental networks, including CSRA, a:gender, Civil Service Diversity Network and the Civil Service Race Forum. Indeed, we have done a lot to make sure that the survey follows best practice guidance on monitoring sexual orientation and to ensure that it is inclusive of anyone, anywhere in the UK Civil Service.

It is anonymous and confidential and should take around 10 minutes to complete.

When and where is the survey available?

The survey has been released to CSRA early. You can now complete the survey here. The survey closes at 11pm on 19th November. We recognise that this is a tight deadline. This is why CSRA has negotiated an early release of the survey to our members

Why should I fill it in?

We understand that some of you may be nervous about completing this or not see the value of taking part.

We would like to reassure that you the results are confidential. The way the survey is constructed means that you cannot be identified by your responses. Also, CSRA and Ben Summerskill will be performing the analysis to ensure that the raw data is only handled by trusted people.

In terms of taking part, it is up to you. However, this report has the genuine support of Ministers. There is also a commitment to publish the overall findings in a publicly available report around December. This is therefore your chance to really shape what Ministers and the Civil Service think about the barriers facing LGB* and T staff. If you don’t tell them what it’s like, then they will not understand.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *