Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

LGBT Network

Allies Network

Contact Us

Confidential telephone: 07880180298 (Network Spokesperson)

Email: lgbt@birmingham.gov.uk
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/bcclgbt
Twitter: www.twitter.com/bcclgbt (follow us @bcclgbt)
Webpage: www.birmingham.gov.uk/lgbtnetwork

Latest News & Events

Catch up with our latest news and events by reading our newsletters, available online here – Newsletters

What is the LGBT Allies Network?

Birmingham City Council’s LGBT Employees Network was set up in 2002 for employees who either identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and their friends. In April 2014 at the Annual General Meeting it was agreed to rename it the LGBT Allies Network in response to an increasing number of heterosexual or straight employees also known as ‘allies’ who wanted show their support for the LGBT community and get involved in our activities.

The two main aims of the network are to:

  • Increase the visibility of employees who identify as LGBT, promoting equality across the organisation by supporting personal and career development
  • Improve the quality of services we offer our customers, especially those who identify as LGBT

We value our membership which includes employees from across the organisation with a wide range of skills. If you think you can help us, please get in touch!

We also welcome contact from external organisations, partners and LGBT networks, including citizens or service users.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I join the network?

To join the LGBT Allies network, register by clicking here. We welcome applications from any LGBT or straight/heterosexual employees, other organisations, citizens or service users who would like to help ensure our workplaces and services are inclusive of LGBT people. By signing up, you will receive regular monthly e-newsletter packed full of ideas about how you can help achieve equality and celebrate diversity. New members can claim a rainbow LGBT Allies lanyard for their council ID pass, or an LGBT Allies t-shirt. Write to us at lgbt@birmingham.gov.uk for more details.

Why do we have a network?

The LGBT network is the voice of employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We provide advice and signposting to members and colleagues about the needs of LGBT employees and services for the community. The network offers a unique opportunity to meet other lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans employees within the council, to make new contacts and to share knowledge. We hold several networking meetings or activities each year which are often themed around issues affecting the community and timed to coincide with other national campaigns such as LGBT History Month or International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. See our calendar of regular events below

Is the network supported by senior managers?

Yes - our Champion is Peter Hay, Strategic Director for People and we work closely with senior managers in HR and Equalities and the Chief Executive. All staff are encouraged to take part in networking events and activities on a minimum quarterly basis as part of their work time. All the Employee Networks (Disability Advisory Network, Corporate Black Workers Support Group and the LGBT Allies Network) operate to an agreed Terms of Reference and the LGBT Allies Network has its own agreed constitution which outlines further this support.

Who runs the network?

We all run the network! It relies on all members to make individual contributions towards promoting LGBT equality & diversity. Once a year at the Annual General Meeting, the LGBT Allies Network elects council officers into the roles of Spokesperson and Coordinator and they undertake their duties in addition to their regular roles within the Council. The main purpose of these elected roles is to coordinate and communicate the activities of the membership therefore it is important that everyone does what they can to contribute to these. Find out more about our key members and what they are doing through our newsletters.

I have a confidential issue - can you help?

The Network can provide confidential support to any employees who might be experiencing bullying or harassment. We want to encourage a working environment where LGBT employees can feel safe and confident to be themselves and perform to the best oftheir ability within the organisation. If you want to speak to either a Network Spokesperson or Coordinator about a confidential issue please call 07880180298 or email lgbt@birmingham.gov.uk

‘Help’ - the Employee Assistance service is also available to employees with a wide range of services including:

  • 24 hour access to a helpline and telephone counselling
  • A ‘Help’ Employee Assistance website with help and wellbeing advice
  • Legal and Financial advice

All employees have access to the Well-being zone where you can take advantage of a personally tailored fitness programme to improve your health &fitness or to build resilience and confidence to deal with life’s demands. Skilled practitioners are available to support and help you to manage and challenging life events including, for example, coming out about your sexual orientation or gender identity. See the Help – Employee Assistance website for more information. https://birmingham.helpeap.com/

Do you hold any social events?

Yes - If you’re new to the organisation, coming out at work, or if you just feel like you don’t know any other employees that identify as LGBT, our social events are a great way to network with colleagues in a non-formal environment.

What about social networking?

The Network has several active social networking channels – please join the discussions. Members can use these to communicate with other Network members and keep them up to date with news about the community.

Facebook:www.facebook.com/bcclgbt

Log on to see many photos of our members, events and other activities

Twitter:www.twitter.com/bcclgbt (follow us @bcclgbt)

Tweet us to promote anything you are interested in

Yammer:www.yammer.com

Yammer is a social networking forum which council employees can sign up to with their birmingham.gov.uk email address and use to network or discuss work related and other social issues throughout the council. Sign up and then go to the LGBT Network (open) group and say hello!

Are there any opportunities for career development?

The network provides lots of great opportunities for members to work with Senior Managers and elected Councillors to develop a better understanding about the needs of the community and promote better outcomes for citizens. We regularly attend the council’s corporate forums such as the Listening Leadership Sessions with Councilors and the Managers Network.

The network can support mentoring, coaching, and training for staff to raise awareness about issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity and encourage all staff to be themselves at work. For more on the Council’s mentoring scheme please log onto the Council HR pages onto People Solutions or email us at lgbt@birmingham.gov.uk for more information.

I don’t identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – can I still join the network?

Absolutely! Many people who identify as heterosexual or straight may have an interest in supporting the LGBT community due to their work, a fellow colleague or service user they are supporting, or because of a friend or family member. We sometimes refer to these people as ‘allies’ and encourage membership from colleagues in all parts of the organisation who are interested in working collaboratively to improve internal services for employees and external services for Birmingham’s citizens.

Regular events for your diary

This is a list of some of the bigger events and other activities we take part in throughout the year.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) – held in Spring each year

As a constituted group, our network is required to hold an AGM each year. We normally do this around the end of the financial year in March or April. In this meeting we hold elections for the Network Spokesperson (or people) and Coordinator(s). This is an opportunity to present a review of activities undertaken by the Network throughout the year and hear from key supporters such as the Chief Executive and the LGBT Equality Champion. We usually invite a guest speaker to highlight a relevant issue. Recent guests have included Pink List 2011 winner Elly Barnes, the poet Vince Laws and the founder of UK Black Pride Phyll Opoku-Gyimah. We would love our members to come to all of our meetings in the year, but if you can only make one, this is the one to make!

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – 17th May

On 17 May 1990 the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases. Every year on this day we celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) with various activities in our workplaces. Tell us what you are doing in your team! http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/

Birmingham Pride – End of May Bank Holiday

Birmingham Pride takes place every year on the last bank holiday in May and is a major event celebrating the LGBT community. Covering the whole three days, the event starts with a march through the city centre, culminating in a festival in the Hurst Street area. The event has a genuine community feel with something for everyone. The LGBT Allies Network regularly attends to walk in the parade – If you’ve not been before, why not join us for the next one? www.birminghampride.com

LGBT History Month - February

Every February is LGBT history month. Originating in schools, the initiative encourages children to learn about positive references and contributions by the LGBT community throughout history – and this has now spread into many different workplaces. Each year with have a different subject or theme, for example Sport, Maths and Science, Music or History. Keep your eyes on their website for details about next year’s theme and activities. www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk

Other Network Meetings

Throughout the year, we hold various meetings or events which usually have a theme and / or a guest speaker. These are great opportunities to meet and network with colleagues and find out what is happening within the community at work. If you’re looking for a way to meet like-minded colleagues or to get involved more, this is a great place to do it – we are a friendly bunch so don’t be shy about attending on your own. We look forward to seeing you there! See our newsletters for details of the latest events.


More information on our partners

Educate and Celebrate

Educate & Celebrate - How to make your school LGBT-friendly

Birmingham City Council's teacher training programme
www.ellybarnes.com/become-an-educate-and-celebrate-school

Bham Centre Logo

The Birmingham LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre

www.blgbt.org/centre

Stonewall Logos

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

www.stonewall.org.uk/at_work/stonewall_top_100_employers/default.asp