'How can I make my voice heard in the workplace?’

How can a CSP member who identifies as LGBTQIA+ make their voice heard in the workplace?

Sian Caulfield
Sian Caulfield is CSP national officer - equality and diversity

As an LGBTQIA+ worker, there are many ways you can become active at work, writes Sian Caulfield, CSP national officer – equality and diversity.

All CSP members can make voices heard through their steward or safety rep, or stepping forward to become one themselves. 

Within the NHS, CSP members are able to influence through staff networks. Becoming involved as a workplace representative or in a staff network means that you can drive meaningful change and empower others. These networks are a critical forum where you can share ideas, raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues and crucially, provide support to colleagues.

A recent survey, conducted by the NHS Staff Council Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group (EDIG) found that NHS staff networks include:

  • joint negotiating committees (JNCs)
  • equality, diversity and inclusion group/committee
  • trade union representatives group
  • health and safety committee 
  • the board

These networks comprise of a range of colleagues from across the organisation, with trade union representatives such as stewards and health and safety reps, playing a vital role in ensuring issues around equity, diversity and inclusion and the workplace are raised. 

Being a part of these networks means that you can raise awareness of key moments such as LGBTQIA+ History Month, Pride and the Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

Hundreds of existing CSP reps across the UK are involved in staff networks and organise to make vital changes to policies and your working environment every day. 

The NHS EDIG research also found the main areas of focus for staff networks included being a safe space to raise concerns, understanding the experience of staff at work by analysing survey data, peer support and action planning.

If you want to become more involved, speak to your local CSP rep or network chair and have your voice on LGBTQIA+ issues at work. 

You can access more information from the NHS Employers site about improving staff equality networks through partnership working.

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