A prestigious charter mark has been awarded to Cheshire West and Chester Council in recognition of its work to support inclusivity in the workplace and the borough.
The Council has been reaccredited with the Navajo Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester LGBTQ+ Chartermark for its commitment to supporting all colleagues and residents regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Cllr Paul Donovan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Democracy, Workforce and Communities, said, “This charter mark is really important to us as it shows that we value everyone in the workplace and want everyone to be their true selves at work.
“We value the unique perspectives each individual can bring to work and the more inclusive and diverse the Council is, the more we can better represent our rich communities here in the borough.”
The Council builds equality into its objectives, making every effort to eliminate discrimination, promote equal opportunities and foster good working relationships between different people.
It was first awarded the Navajo charter mark in 2020.
The charter mark requires extensive evidence, corroborated by two full days of interviews with a wide range of staff, councillors and partners. The assessment covers areas such as policies, procedures and practices, training and engagement with staff and stakeholders.
Navajo praised the Council for its honest and open approach, recognising the areas of strength but also where improvements can be made, and remarked on the considerable progress since the previous assessment.
Tayler, who works in Planning and is a member of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, said, “As an employee the charter mark really represents that the Council tries to support all members of staff and creates and environment where people don’t feel the need to mask their identity at work.
“I’ve been with the Council for two years now and I feel very supported by my team and also feel supported by the LGBTQ+ working group – you know if you have any issues you can just go to them and there will be support offered through that.”
David, who works in Adult Social Care and is also a member of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, said, “I feel really supported as a member of staff for a number of reasons.
“I’m able to bring my true self to work and our Be You internal campaign is a testament to the commitment from the very top of the authority, from the Chief Executive and all the Directors, that we’re an inclusive place to work, an inclusive authority and that we continue to learn and adapt and be an excellent place to feel you can be who you are.”
Rose, the Council’s Senior LGBTQ+ Champion, said, “What’s really critical about this is that we’re representative of all the communities that we serve.
“What we want to show is the diversity and equality – we can reach out to all of our communities with absolute integrity and sincerity about all the things that matter about being awarded this Navajo charter mark, and that is inclusivity, equality and celebrating diversity.
“This award isn’t just important to us as staff at Cheshire West and Chester. It’s critically important that we’re an organisation that understands and can serve the community we work within.”
Image: (L-R) David Redpath-Smith, Angela Doe, Rose McArthur and Tayler Davies from Cheshire West and Chester Council