The Home Office leads the way among government departments as a LGBT employer.
Stonewall named the department a Star Performer on Tuesday 19 January, at the same time as it announced its Top 100 Employers list for 2016.
The honour means the Home Office has ‘graduated’ to a special status having made the top 10 of Stonewall’s employers list three times in five years.
It is the only government department in the Star Performers programme, which means the Home Office will now work closely with the LGBT charity.
In a speech in November the Home Secretary argued for “fundamental, urgent and radical” reform of the Home Office. In the speech she said greater diversity was critical: “To set the example for police forces, our agencies and our suppliers that we must represent the people we serve”.
Around 3% of the Home Office’s 30,000 staff identify, through self-declaration, as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Home Office network for LGBT staff
The Home Office has one of the longest standing networks in government for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans staff and works to provide a safe environment for LGBT staff to meet each other, offer mutual support, socialise and network.
The network, Spectrum, raises awareness across the Home Office of issues affecting LGBT staff and provides advice and resources.
John Muir, who works for Border Force and leads on transgender issues said:
People need to feel able to be themselves at work and to be authentic about that. And if you do that it’s my view, that people will give their best and you have a happier and healthy organisation.
We interact with millions of passengers coming in and leaving the country every single day and we have a responsibility to make sure our engagement with the public takes account of their needs. People travelling through our airports want to feel assured that your treatment will be sensitive to who you are and appropriate to who you are.
We are a great department of state so we have a responsibility to set an example through our engagement with the public.
Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill said:
The Home Office leads a community of public servants dedicated to keeping our citizens safe and our country secure. As the Department responsible for ensuring that every citizen feels safe to be themselves, I am very proud that the Home Office has been recognised by Stonewall as one of the country’s best employers for people who identify as LGBT. I hope that talented people committed to public service from any background, sexual orientation, gender or ethnicity will consider the Home Office as a career.