Dr Justin Varney
Justin has led work across PHE to improve our support for LGBT staff and wider diversity and inclusion issues.
As a result of his leadership, and actions, the organisation saw a significant improvement in our Stonewall Equality Index score and index placement. This provided an external benchmark of our progress and the impact of his work. As a result of some of the work Justin has initiated and led, he has been asked by Stonewall to provide advice to several other Government and NHS agencies, specifically on establishing LGBT staff networks and Allies networks.
The LGBT mentoring circle that Justin initiated and co-facilitated has been a first for PHE and had a demonstrable impact on those participating, with several moving into new roles, but it has also had an important 'ripple' effect to our other leadership mentoring schemes. Justin has also used the experience to ask about how the corporately funded leadership programmes are approaching LGBT inclusion and LGBT workplace issues.
Justin's visible leadership on LGBT inclusion in the workplace has also influenced externally where he has advised the Business in the Community Mental Health survey on it's deep dive into LGBT mental health issues in the workplace.
Justin led the developing of PHE's trans inclusion policy, engaging trans staff and external key stakeholders to develop a policy which has been recognised by Stonewall as best practice for non-binary inclusion. Justin's focus on delivery ensured that this policy was ratified and publicised to staff through a series of webinars he coordinated for LGBT history month.
His inclusive approach to diversity has been a powerful, especially as a visible role model within medicine, PHE and the civil service. His direct contribution has been fundamental to improving the experience of LGBT people working in PHE.