Council signs up for equalities programme

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Aberdeenshire Council has announced its participation in the Straight Ally programme run by equalities charity Stonewall Scotland.

As part of the programme, which focuses on supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in the workplace, a number of Straight Allies have been appointed within the council.

The term ‘Straight Ally’ describes a heterosexual person who believes that LGB people should experience full equality in the workplace and who uses their role to create a culture where this can happen.

Garioch area manager, Doug Milne, has been appointed a senior Straight Ally.

He said: “Aberdeenshire Council is committed to the development of an inclusive workplace for employees of all protected characteristics.

“The Straight Ally programme is being integrated into the day-to-day workings of the council specifically so colleagues of all sexual orientations can feel comfortable being open about who they are if they chose to.

“Through Straight Allies, we are aiming to tackle feelings of isolation or fear that might exist.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s project officer for equalities and Straight Ally, Caroline Tough, said: “Equality is something I’m really passionate about so I’m delighted to be taking part in this programme.

“My two younger brothers are gay and through them I have some understanding of what it means to be LGB.

“Straight Allies offer a point of contact for employees and managers who are seeking support, we are here to listen as well as be visible and approachable throughout the organisation.”

For more information about the role of a Straight Ally visit http://bit.ly/straightallies

Stonewall Scotland works to achieve equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in a number of different ways.

These avenues involve policy development, cultural and attitudinal change, lobbying for legal change, providing information, good practice, deskign and advice.

Stonewall has headquarters in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff.