Supporting our LGBTQ+ colleagues on National Coming Out Day
11 Oct 2021 02:29 PM
Today, to mark National Coming Out Day, we wanted to set out some of the ways in which we support our LGBTQ+ employees and create a safe, respectful place for everyone to work every day – whether our colleagues choose to be out at work, or not.
This article was previously published on our LinkedIn profile earlier this year, to mark Pride Month.
Ofcom’s colleague-run Affinity Network is the beating heart of our efforts and achievements for LGBTQ+ colleagues. It advises on policy with a wealth of experience, and it offers a safe space where people from every marvellous stripe of the rainbow can have their views heard. And we haven’t even mentioned the fun social events that go on or mentoring opportunities for LGBTQ+ colleagues.
The network has a growing band of allies helping to bang the drum for inclusion throughout the organisation. We also appoint a senior colleague to champion the efforts of the network at senior management and Board level.
Our family policies are open to every Ofcom colleague. They make sure people receive expert support whether they’re going on or returning from maternity, adoption, surrogacy, paternity or shared parental leave.
This involves inclusive parental leave policies and support, regardless of the length of service, to help any colleague about to start a new adventure caring for a little one; and we support colleagues or those with partners who tragically suffer the loss of a baby during pregnancy, at any stage of the pregnancy.
Transitioning at work policy
Evidence shows, sadly, that transphobia is growing in the UK. But we don’t believe in judging people for how they identify. Our ‘transitioning at work’ policy has been supporting trans and gender non-conforming colleagues since 2018, helping those who transition to their affirmed gender while working here. It’s something we’re incredibly proud to have put in place.
Inside Ofcom and training
‘Inside Ofcom’ is our fancy name for a lunch-and-learn. People come and talk to us about their experiences, from exploring queer representation and bi-erasure in TV and film, to ‘Trans 101’. These events are opportunities for the organisation to come together, learn from different perspectives and challenge the way we think about things.
Our priority is for everybody who works for Ofcom to feel valued and valid, so unconscious bias training is also required for any colleague taking part in recruitment.
Because of Ofcom’s place in society, we also work hard to promote equality and representation in the sectors we regulate. Nobody should ever feel like they can’t be themselves, and everyone deserves to be represented in what they watch or listen to. There’s still more to do.
No matter what, there’s always something happening behind the scenes here, thanks to a brilliant bunch of colleagues, helping to make Ofcom an open and welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community.