Local Government

Sector Overview

The local government sector, encompassing city, county and borough councils in regions across the UK, continues to make strides in LGBT inclusion. LGBT people often rely on local government for services like social care, education, and conducting civil partnerships and weddings. These complex organisations play a vital role in their communities.

As a result, many local authorities have been pushing for a greater focus on LGBT inclusion, in terms of both their working environment and the ‘touch points’ between local residents and their many different services. Because local authorities provide educational services, many are members of Stonewall’s Education Champions programme. This helps them ensure local teachers understand LGBT identities and know how to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the classroom.

Finding a role in this sector is a great way to understand more about your local community and make real, sustainable change.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 47% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 47% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 37% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 81% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

Best sector for supporting campaigns to tackle hate crime or homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
81% of organisations used their social media and website to demonstrate their commitment to LGBT equality in the past year

In Focus

Local Government - Claire MacKenzie

Claire Mackenzie, Project Assisant, Perth and Kinross Council

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in local government?

It’s becoming more and more LGBT friendly. LGBT staff networks have popped up in different areas of the public sector and there are training opportunities for those who want to learn more about how to be an ally for this community.

How did you come to work in local government?

When I moved back to Scotland after living and travelling in Australia, I wanted to work in a sector that makes a difference to people’s lives. As part of the transformation projects team at Perth & Kinross Council, my job is to run digital projects that will save the Council money and save employees time, so they can focus on important work that will have benefit to the community.

What’s it like being LGBT at Perth & Kinross Council?

It’s always nerve racking when you start a new job, as you have to come out all over again to your work colleagues. But when I did come out, it was almost like they didn’t care. That’s exactly what I wanted – to not be perceived as different, and viewed as simply part of the team so I was able to get on with my work. I’ve never experienced any hostility over my sexuality at Perth & Kinross Council.

Are you involved in the LGBT network at work?

I’m a member of the LGBTI+ staff network. We help give a voice to staff members who identify as LGBT+, whether they’re out at work or not. It’s important to feel accepted at work because we spend most of our lives in the workplace and having to hide who you are stunts productivity and makes you unhappy. Successful careers are based on your work relationships, so you need to be able to be yourself.