Saskatoon

LGBT training for city staff 'a wonderful win,' says OutSaskatoon

New training will focus on teaching City of Saskatoon staff about LGBT communities.

Amanda Guthrie says training gives staff confidence

Amanda Guthrie with Out Saskatoon says more governments and businesses are requesting training. (CBC)

New training for City of Saskatoon staff focused on LGBT communities has been met with an "overwhelmingly positive" reponse, one of the people running workshops for employees says.

"People have a lot of questions; they have a lot of curiosity," said Amanda Guthrie, education and operations manager at the advocacy and outreach group OutSaskatoon.

She said much of the material they're covering is new to the employees.

"They're learning about the LGBT community from TV shows or movies or the media in some sort of way so they're only seeing a small sliver of the community," Guthrie said.

To date, 58 employees have taken the training, including senior management, human resources and staff working at city recreation facilities, a city report said. The training will also be offered twice a year for all employees.

Amanda Guthrie has been running LGBT awareness and training workshops for City of Saskatoon staff. (Victoria Dinh/CBC)

Sessions include basic training around terminology and identity and can be tailored to specific departments. The workshops are two hours long and cover topics such as how to make work environments inclusive for all employees.

Guthrie said the workshops give staff more confidence in the workplace and in interactions with the public.

'A wonderful win'

The training is part of a wider diversity and inclusion plan for the city. A report on the training lists other initiatives that have taken place in the past two years, including participation in Pride activities, positive messaging from city leadership and the addition of inclusive washrooms in the Civic Square East building and city hall.

Guthrie said more governments and businesses are requesting such training because they are recognizing that both their employees and their clients or customers belong to the LGBT community.

"City of Saskatoon doing this sort of work, facilities becoming more inclusive, language becoming more inclusive, that lets people know the tides are changing a little bit," she said.

"It's a wonderful win for citizens and for staff, and obviously for folks in the LGBTQ2S community."

About the Author

Ashleigh Mattern is a web writer and reporter with CBC Saskatoon, CBC Saskatchewan, and CBC North; and an associate producer with Saskatoon Morning. She has been working as a journalist since 2007 and joined CBC in 2017. Email: ashleigh.mattern@cbc.ca

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