5 June 2017
After nearly a decade leading the organisation, our Chair, Ollie Entwistle, has announced his intention to stand down as Chair of the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance.
I wanted to let you know that I have decided to stand down as Chair of CSRA.
I’ve been the Chair since 2008 and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. It’s a varied role where you get to shape Civil Service diversity policy; represent the views of LGBT civil servants; and organise a range of events for members. However, after nearly a decade leading the organisation, I feel that now is the time for me to move on to new challenges. Any organisation needs new ideas and new energy every so often and CSRA is no different.
It has been an honour to lead CSRA for so long and I am very proud of how CSRA has developed from being an informal network of networks to being a fully LGBT inclusive organisation with clear aims and objectives. CSRA has delivered a great deal during my time as Chair but if I were to highlight my top five achievements, they would be:
- Our work on role models – in 2014, we published an LGBT role models guide. It highlighted the great work of LGBT civil servants across the country and paved the way for other networks to produce their own guides. I am really pleased that we are now refreshing this work by launching the new CSRA Impact Index
Research on career development for LGBT civil servants with Yougov – this was the first research of its kind in the UK and raised awareness of the issues facing LGBT civil servants
Raising the profile of LGBT issues across the Civil Service – I spend a lot of my time raising awareness of the issues facing LGBT staff in the Civil Service including our work with Ben Summerskill for his report ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’
Ensuring that CSRA is fully Bisexual and Trans inclusive – I have worked hard to ensure that CSRA is an inclusive organisation. Our CSRA Talks series focussed on raising awareness of bisexuality and gender identity. Our conferences explored the issues facing bisexual and transgender civil servants. Our ‘Blueprint for change’ set an ambitious programme of work to make the civil service more inclusive, which we are continuing to deliver.
Growing our participation in Pride events – Pride is a great opportunity to showcase to the public that the Civil Service is both LGBT inclusive and a great, fun, place to work. Last year, we participated in Pride events right across the United Kingdom with a record attendance at London Pride.
So as I look back over my years leading CSRA, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to represent LGBT civil servants and to play my part in making the Civil Service a great place to work for LGBT people. I am also grateful to the small army of volunteers that given many hours over the years helping me make this happen.
I will continue to be involved in LGBT equality because it is something that I passionately believe in but now is the right time to hand over to someone new. CSRA needs new energy and new ideas and I wish my successor, whoever they might be, all the best for the future.