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Out in the Workplace booklet launched by Bristol City Council
Release date: Fri, 13/07/2012
A new booklet exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people working in the public sector will be officially launched by Bristol City Council this Saturday (14).
Out in the Workplace stresses the importance of the fostering of an open and welcoming working environment so that individual members of staff are able to feel comfortable about being open about themselves in their place of work. The booklet will be launched at the Pride Day event at College Green, Bristol, by the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Peter Main.
As one employee of North Bristol NHS Trust, says in the booklet: “If you can’t be open about yourself, you can’t be yourself at work. Trying to hide your personal life at work deters you from doing the job to the best of your ability.”
As well as featuring the experiences of people currently working for Bristol City Council, the booklet also showcases employees of North Somerset Police, North Bristol NHS Trust, North Somerset Council and the University of West England. The booklet is also supported by the Rainbow Group, a self-organised group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Those taking part include a social worker, a PCSO, a student adviser at the University of the West of England, a custody sergeant, a domestic supervisor with North Bristol NHS Trust, a senior law lecturer at the University of the West of England and the director of Communications and marketing at BCC.
John Augustus, senior finance officer with North Somerset Council, said: “Some 25 years ago it was difficult to come out. It is easier now both in the workplace and in society in general. There is a clear indication that organisations are more understanding and encouraging than they used to be.”
Chris Bates, Project Manager for the Carers Strategy with BCC, added: I was worried at first about coming out as people can be judgemental. But after I was relieved to be out as I felt a sense of freedom and pride about who I am.”
Earlier this year the city council was ranked the 41st most ‘gay friendly’ employer in the country by Stonewall, the equal rights campaigning group.
The announcement saw the local authority rise 25 places from 76th last year and 84 places since 2010, thanks to the efforts of the council to improve its policies and practices with regards to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people.
Councillor Peter Main, the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, said: “The annual Pride event has grown to become a major event in the city calendar, offering an important opportunity to celebrate the talents of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people and their contribution to the cultural and social life of Bristol.
”As usual, Bristol City Council is making a significant contribution to supporting and promoting the event in line with its commitment to promoting equality and diversity and acknowledging the contribution of all its citizens.”
Further information about the Pride event on Saturday, July 14 can be found at http://www.wearefest.com/