Positive Space and the Public Service

Positive Space and the Public Service

Description: How Positive Space training in the public service is helping to create an environment in which LGBTQ+ employees feel safe to be themselves.

Date: February 1, 2018

Duration: 00:02:42

Resolution: 1080p


Transcript

Greg

My name is Greg Wilburn. I started in public service back in 1997.

Andrea

I'm Andrea Markowski. I've worked for Corrections for about almost 20 years.

Greg

Coming out was difficult because people had always known me to be a particular way.

Andrea

There's a lot of folks who don't feel as able to be themselves at work for a whole variety of reasons. You come into a work environment that has a culture and then there's some pressure on you to kind of adjust.

Positive Space is not a government initiative; it's kind of a global movement. What we're trying to teach in Positive Space is that small things have big impact. We can do a lot that can make spaces safer for absolutely everybody.

Andrea Markowski
Positive Space Champion
Correctional Service Canada

Greg

Positive Space is a space where you can bring the whole person to work. It's about acknowledging and respecting diversity, whether you're the parent of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth, or whether you yourself are coming to terms with your own sexual identity. It offers a safe space for people to go and get support.

Greg Wilburn
Positive Space Champion
Canada School of Public Service

Andrea

Folks want to be much more inclusive, but they don't know how. We just try to create that basic understanding so that they can then go and do their own research.

Greg

We have folk on staff who are in a position to be able to offer Positive Space training. We have websites. We have the Out and About guide.

Andrea

Awareness raising, workshops, lunch and learns.... At the same time that this is all happening for us, there's a lot of interest in other departments. Some of them have started Positive Space or have pride networks. In the government in general, there was a desire to build up the capacity to deliver Positive Space training.

Greg

Making sure that those sort of basic tools are in place is important for every department. I think it's important for managers to do the Positive Space training, and for employees to follow that lead.

Andrea

I think we're off to a really good start. The public service consciousness and awareness around the importance of diversity and inclusion is higher than it's ever been.

Greg

We have an environment in the public service where you can actually come out and be yourself. Our society is becoming more accepting. There are fewer barriers to progress. So I'm very optimistic.

Andrea

I think collectively we can really make a difference.

For more information, visit the Positive Space Initiative on GCconnex.

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