Promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality

Many of you will be aware that Bradford celebrated its Pride festival in Centenary Square in May which was the biggest and most successful yet. The University was a co-sponsor of Bradford Pride and we were proud to see our name on its publicity materials.

I thought that this would be a good time for us to reflect on some of the ways that the University of Bradford is working to promote LGBT inclusivity.

Groups

We have an active Respect Sexual Orientation group at the University which aims to raise the profile of issues around sexual orientation in work and study and to combat discrimination, bullying or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and creating an environment of respect.

The University also has a LGBTQ society for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (or otherwise).

LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month takes place in February, celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community and LGBT people around the world. This year, the University of Bradford supported LGBT History Month by sponsoring the Equity Partnership awards which aim to recognise and reward excellence in promoting LGBT equality. The Equity Partnership is a long-established community group managed by LGB people on behalf of Bradford’s LGB communities.

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and Universities guide

 

Stonewall, a major campaigning organisation for the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, recently undertook a survey of British Universities and rated them for how gay, lesbian and bisexual (LGB) friendly they are for LGB students, based on information we provided to them earlier this year.

The University of Bradford scored highly, meeting nine out of ten criteria. We are immensely proud of this achievement and it reflects a lot of hard work by many people across the institution. There is still work to do but this is a real achievement for us.

We are also one of 600 members of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, a way for us to show how seriously we take LGB equality as an institution. The programme gives the University access to Stonewall’s workplace team who will work with us to promote equality within the institution for LGB people.

Sexual Orientation in the Workplace – training for managers

In conjunction with the Respect Sexual Orientation network, the Equality and Diversity Unit have put together a half-day training entitled Sexual Orientation in the Workplace.

The course explores issues of sexual orientation in the workplace and related legislation and helps us to put those issues into context for the University. We successfully piloted this course in June and we are exploring how we roll it out further as an important part of our existing suite of training and briefings on equality and diversity.

Sexual orientation research workshop

In April I gave an introduction at a workshop event, between the local community and the University, spearheaded by the Equity Partnership and the University to establish links between the Partnership, the University and the community for future research.

As an institution we should be proud of these examples of our approach to LGBT inclusivity and our commitment to continuing this excellent work in the future. Thank you to all involved.