Freedom to be yourself: Claire’s story as an LGBT Fast Streamer

Today, King’s Careers Blog continues our exploration of the Civil Service Fast Stream. The year 2020 is the Civil Service Year of Inclusion and we spoke to Clare, a current Civil Service Fast Streamer, to talk about her experience as an LGBT Fast Streamer.

Image of Claire smiling

Expressing yourself in professional settings

It’s the small things that make you feel like you belong. I never thought that being ‘out’ at work would be something that was important to me. I figured that I would start working and just never mention that I wasn’t straight. But somehow, that wasn’t how it worked. From volunteering at an LGBTI charity to going to the 1st BiPride, or just leaving a rainbow flag pin on my backpack, it was an important part of me that I couldn’t and didn’t want to leave at the office door.

One of the great things about the Civil Service is its commitment to ‘bringing your whole self to work’. Especially, at a time when so many people’s work and home lives have started to come together, it’s more important to realise that you are a person, who has on days, off days and days where they forget to unmute – it’s okay. And being LGBT is an important part of their whole self for lots of people in the Civil Service.


Networks and support

And I feel really lucky to work for an organisation that supports its people, letting them spend time developing support networks both within and across organisations, there is a LGBT-network for the whole Civil Service which organises Pride events as well as meetups and blogs. I really love Joe’s experience of going to their 1st pride and some of the great ‘Lets meet…’ series for Lesbian Visibility week.

The Fast Stream itself has an LGBT network that hosts regular socials, (even online!), which can be really great to meet other Fast Streamers, and find support for some of the particular challenges that come with taking on new roles and new departments fairly regularly.


King’s Careers Take: Claire highlights such an important aspect of working life – supportive networks. Communities like these can help you find your feet when you first start work, as well as support you through challenges and find new contacts to build success together. 


Meaning of ‘inclusion’ in professional settings

Being inclusive can mean lots of things, and obviously, rainbow lanyards and laptop stickers are awesome but actually- it matters. Having senior leaders who stand up and support LGBTI causes, being able to talk about challenges you’ve faced and supporting other LGBTI people at work so that they can have the support they need makes a real difference.


Being your whole self can be more important than you think, and I’m lucky enough to have found that with the Civil Service.


The Civil Service Fast Stream is an award-winning leadership development programme.  It develops people from a wide range of backgrounds who have the potential to become our future senior leaders. We offer a choice of 15 schemes, each within a profession, and the opportunity to contribute to fast-paced work that makes a difference to the whole of society.