Staff Pride Network

Staff Pride Network

The Staff Pride Network is an inclusive network that serves as a resource for the rich diversity of LGBT+ employees across the institution, including PhD students who prefer to attend staff events. We strive to take an intersectional approach to providing a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for all people who self identify as part of LGBT+ communities, whether or not they are 'out' in the wider world, and to make LGBT+ issues more visible within the University environment. Different organisations use different acronyms to refer to specific groups, and terminology is always evolving. Our definition of LGBT+ includes, among others, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender fluid, intersex, non-binary, asexual, pansexual and polyamorous. It also includes all those individuals and communities whose sexuality or gender identity is a matter of shared personal, political and/or social experience, as well as those who are LGBT+ allies.

Stonewall Empowerment Training

Stonewall Scotland Logo

by David Radford

I attended the second part of the empowerment training course run by Stonewall on the 25th February. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see such a wide variety of attendees – everything from the academic sector to government departments and the banking sector.

It was notable that they reported within the workplace the LGBT community is not evenly treated, with 83% of lesbian and gay respondents of a survey stating that they felt their workplace was inclusive of them, while this number dropped to 52% for bi and only 48% of trans respondents. One thing which I was aware of but maybe not as actively aware of as I could be was discrimination and bias from within the LGBT+ community towards smaller or less visible groups.

The main aim of the workshop was to help identify the potential shortcomings and problems which arise from making network spaces for LGBT+ members of staff, which can create issues with cliques and exclusion, difficulties breaking into the group and issues of tokenism, and really highlighted the importance of diverse representation in the leadership and decision-making of groups as well as being open to criticism, willing to make changes and above all welcoming to newcomers.

For me, at least the main take-home message of this was to be aware of who I am interacting with and not to make assumptions when planning activities, as well as trying to engage others in decision making. That pub trip or countryside walk might be good for the morale of those attending, but it can cause other issues including financial, religious, family or accessibility problems, which can exclude a whole host of other people from attending.



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