Derbyshire County Council take a stand against discrimination

Members of Derbyshire County Council are taking a stand against discrimination by displaying the rainbow flag to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on Saturday (17 May 2014).

Stickers featuring the rainbow flag, which is an international symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride, are being displayed on around 500 council vehicles and 60 school buses run by private operators.

And councillors swapped their purple ID badge cord for rainbow ribbons to show the organisation’s support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The county council will also be flying the rainbow flag at County Hall and countryside sites including Elvaston Castle and Tapton Lock on 17 May.

Anne Western, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “Displaying the rainbow is one way to show that we do not tolerate homophobia or transphobia.

“We want our workplaces, schools and communities to be safe places where everyone is able to be themselves without fear of bullying, intimidation, abuse or harm.”

In January, national campaign group Stonewall ranked the county council as one of the best places to work for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.

The council featured in Stonewall’s ‘Top 100 Employers’ list 2014, ranking 15 out of 369 public and private sector entrants making it the second best council.

And its LGBT Employee Network has been recognised for its contribution by being categorised as one of Stonewall’s Star Performer Network Groups.

Coun Western added: “We want to make the best use of the skills and talents of all our employees which is why we’ve made equalities a high priority.

“We want to make sure we have the best people for the job but it’s also important that our workforce reflects the communities we serve so we can understand what matters to those communities.”

Some of the initiatives the county council has been involved in to help promote equality and tackle discrimination include signing-up to the national Time to Change programme to address mental health stigma.

The county council is also currently advertising vacancies for 45 apprenticeships across a range of services which in the past has resulted in women taking up jobs traditionally seen as male roles such as surveyors and in landscaping. Male apprentices have also taken on roles traditionally seen to be for women such as school catering.

Flying the flag: Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet members show their support for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.