(sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics)
Liberate works with a number of individual civil servants within Government. Their desire to serve the public without prejudice or bias and to the best of their ability is without question, whether they are teachers, healthcare professionals, police officers, manual workers or administrators.
However, we know from cases where an LGBTQ+ Government employee or member of the public has asked for our help/advice because of an incident that has happened to them involving Jersey’s Government that the Government of Jersey, as an institution, does not always get it right.
With large and diverse organisations, it is surprising if incidents of discrimination do not happen sometimes. The measure of an organisation is how these incidents are handled. The victim needs to know it will not happen again and there will be no adverse repercussions for them from reporting it. The rest of the workforce needs to know that nobody, however senior, is above being sanctioned for behaving badly at work.
We know, because people from minority groups in Jersey tell us, that they do not always feel that they can speak up about what has happened to them. They fear that there will be reprisals and their situation will be made worse. Often people from minority groups expect to be discriminated against, and so are resigned to it when it happens. This is unacceptable.
It is vital that Jersey workplaces are inclusive, and the Government has a role to play in leading by example in rooting out the institutional discrimination that is baked into a system that means: young LGBTQ+ people are not taught within the curriculum what healthy relationships look like for them; transgender and gender non-conforming islanders have to wait 5 years to access the healthcare they need; and, the assumption of heteronormality that excludes or overlooks families that are different.
Research undertaken in January and February 2020 in the UK and USA showed –
• One third of people feel they cannot bring their whole self at work and be truly open about themselves
• Over a third of people who are from minority groups have felt excluded or marginalised in the workplace
• One third of people find office banter uncomfortable
• One third of people say no one senior at work looks like them
• One third of people have experienced bias, harassment or inappropriate behaviour at work
(Source: Belonging by Jacob, Unerman & Edwards)
We would like to see manifestos commit to the appointment of an Equalities Minister with responsibility for addressing systemic discrimination and creating an inclusive culture within the institutions of Government and wider society.