Kate Scott-Hughes is running for election as CSRA Chair. This post introduces her and helps you to get to know her.

Hello, I’m Kate Scott-Hughes and I’m standing for the post of Chair of the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance and I want to tell you a bit more about myself and my motivation for standing for Chair.

I’ve always felt strongly about people’s right to be themselves, when the CPS started our LGBT Network in 2002 I got involved on day one. I spent eleven years Chairing that network, from 2005 until 2016. I’ve been part of the CSRA leadership team since 2010, initially as Secretary and from 2013 as Vice-Chair.

In that time I’ve seen more changes to the legislative and cultural landscape than I could have imagined. When I started as an Admin Assistant in 2001 the law didn’t protect me at work, I could have been sacked because I’m bisexual. Unlikely, but still a risk. Now I’m working in Inclusion, one of the Cabinet Secretary priorities, and the work I’ve done has helped to put LGBT issues there.

Me at Pride in London with the CSRA group

I have worked on HR and service delivery policies, shaping them to meet the needs of LGBT staff and public. I impacted on how the CPS prosecutes homophobic crime by creating the first Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel. I raised the profile of LGBT civil servants by creating first the CPS role model guide, covering not just CPS but all the Law Officers Departments, and then the CSRA Role Model Guide. I’ve run various successful conferences around the country, focussing on issues ranging from role models, to bullying, to domestic violence. I partnered with the Diversity team to introduce a reverse mentoring initiative to CPS, something which had a real impact and is now being rolled out across the organisation for a range of characteristics. If elected I would like to expand this across the civil service with a focus on policy makers in Whitehall really understanding the lived experience of LGBT people outside of major cities.

As Vice-Chair of CSRA I’m used to working with the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Team and Permanent Secretary Champions to get results on Diversity and Inclusion issues, particularly around LGBT. Over the last seven years I’ve worked closely with senior leaders in the civil service, enabling me to challenge openly and effectively in a constructive way. I’m not afraid to raise issues where they need to be.

Me and Ollie – CSRA’s current chair – at Pride

If you elect me to be Chair of CSRA I would like to focus on improving the working experiences of civil servants who are more isolated, either because of their role or location, and those who are bisexual. There is a lot to do to strengthen the relationship between those out there serving the public and the strategic leads, my experience as a regionally based network and CSRA leader puts me in a unique position to deliver on this agenda.

If you would like to find out more about me you can read my interview in the CSRA Role Model guide, read this interview in Gay Star News or connect with me on Linked In or Twitter. Or if you prefer you can email me. I’m happy to answer any questions you have or hear your views on what CSRA’s priorities should be.

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