Skip to main content

What Actions Are We Taking for LGBTQ+ Equality?

Our LGBTQ+ Action Plan is currently organised around 5 key priorities, agreed at SOEG, which we have identified as key areas to improve and drive forward our work, and use to help organise our actions. action plan is monitored and facilitated by the Sexual Orientation Equality Group (SOEG)

The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index feedback we received has helped us generate new actions for this action plan, alongside input from our key stakeholders in LGBTQ+ equality work, including our staff and student LGBTQ+ Networks and groups. Where the Stonewall feedback has informed our actions, you can read the relevant feedback below. Other actions are generated through discussions within SOEG and with students and staff working on LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality across the University.

You can find out more about our actions below.

Stonewall said: To gather the most helpful data, it's important to use inclusive questions, clearly communicate why you’re collecting the data, and provide information about data protection and confidentiality. By feeding back to staff how you’re responding to these insights, you’ll encourage their engagement.
You may wish to consider updating the language in your questions and ensure it is inclusive of nonbinary identities. We strongly recommend comparing the experiences of people who share a sexual orientation by gender at the analysis stage. Another next step might be to ensure that non-binary people can have their identities recognised in all workplace systems.

Our actions:

1.1 Review standard diversity monitoring questions in systems such as Trent-HR to ensure inclusive language. 

1.2 Ensure contextual information is provided for the purpose(s) of this data and privacy considerations such as how data is stored, anonymised or accessed.

1.3 Share contextual information to encourage participation in dialogue with our LGBTQ+ Staff Networks, SOEG, and other key stakeholders.

1.4 Review systems across the University that collect sensitive, personal information and ensure that nonbinary identities can be recorded inclusively. In cases where this is not possible, explain the reasons for this.

1.5 Use examples of best practice to encourage inclusive practice in data collection across the institution.

1.6 Encourage participation in the Stonewall Staff Survey ahead of next WEI submission.

Mental health and wellbeing was not a specific area of focus under the most recent Stonewall WEI submission, and so there was no specific feedback from Stonewall on this area this year. However, we have generated the below actions based on feedback from students and colleagues that LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience mental ill-health or other negative impacts on their wellbeing. We want to make sure that as part of our efforts across the whole University community to improve mental health and wellbeing, that we are doing so equitably and being mindful of specific challenges that may be faced by our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues. 


2.1 Review Trans Inclusion Booklet (2018/19) to include internal and external wellbeing signposting and resources in consultation with LGBTQ+ Staff Networks and students societies.

2.2 Invite external LGBTQ+ organisations and NHS partners to deliver wellbeing spaces/workshops for colleagues.

2.3 Review and update our ‘Leaders’ and Managers’ Mental Health and Stress Toolkit’ and ‘Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of your Team’ to encourage consideration of intersectionality and increase managers’ awareness of internal and external sources of support.

2.4 Analyse data from Our Culture Conversation, the Stonewall Staff Survey and other sources to identify further areas of action.


Stonewall said: We recommend including a more explicit statement around valuing diversity, which is explicitly inclusive of all LGBTQ+ people; as well as information on your network, in all job packs. You may wish to include more detailed information here on the inclusivity of your policies for LGBTQ+ staff. We also recommend including a more explicit ban on discrimination, bullying and harassment based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. It is great to see  that you already give an example of homophobia. Providing more distinct  examples of biphobia and transphobia, too, can further support individuals to accurately identify and understand the different forms these behaviours can take. 

You might consider welcoming feedback on your policies from all staff, at least every three years. Proactively communicating this will help them feel more confident to share suggestions. One way to do this is including a line at the start of each policy welcoming feedback and sharing details of a team to contact.

As a key next step, we recommend that you develop a trans inclusion policy, to formalise and expand on the work that you’re already doing in this area. We suggest including a clear commitment to supporting all trans people; as well as clear guidance on dress code and data protection. Next steps with your transitioning at work policy might also include giving clearer guidance on how time off will be recorded, more detailed information on the process of changing your name and gender marker on workplace systems and offering explicit support for managers and colleagues.


Our actions:

1. Update our bullying and harrassment information to give examples of behaviours that are homophobic, biphobic and transphobic in order to contextualise the kinds of behaviour that is unnacceptable.

2. Continue our review of all policies and guidance documents to ensure inclusive language that does not exclude those from our LGBTQ+ community on the basis of their sexual orientation of gender identity. 

3. Encourage and promote the opportunity for review of inclusion policies, and make this part of the regular review cycle. 

4. Complete and share guidance about navigating administrative processes across the University such as name, title, and gender marker changes, including information on how this data is handled, protected and accessed. 

5. Review other existing related guidance documents and ensure consistency. 

6. Complete and share a dress code statement, in consultation with other Equality Groups and Networks.

7. Promote new guidance and make it readily available both to staff navigating these processes themselves, and to line managers who may be supporting others in doing so.

Stonewall said: A good first step could be to support board and senior management employees to build their understanding of the issues affecting LGBTQ+ staff. To build on this, you might consider offering more systematic opportunities for mentoring between senior leaders; or supporting them to attend LGBTQ+ conferences, and bi, non-binary and trans specific seminars that are specifically aimed at senior leaders.

It is great that senior leaders have attended internal and external LGBTQ+ events, such as Pride. To expand on this, you may also consider encouraging them to attend regular meetings with the LGBTQ+ network group.


Our actions: 

4.1  Review and relaunch the Senior Allies Network

4.2 Organise a meeting between the LGBTQ+ Staff Networks and the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

4.3 Ensure senior leaders are aware and invited in advance of key LGBTQ+ events I the University calendar such as Pride, LGBTQ+ History Month activity, Trans Day of Remembrance, Come As You Are Festival and others.

4.4 Consider opportunities to demonstrate Trans allyship within existing structures and groups e.g. a specific Network. 

Stonewall said: We would recommend asking suppliers about their LGBTQ+ inclusion practice, e.g. whether they have foundational policies in place that ban bullying, harassment and discrimination; or whether they have a diversity and inclusion strategy. This would signal an expectation to uphold shared EDI values. We would also encourage you to regularly build inclusion into your work with existing suppliers. For example, you could have an agenda item on equality and inclusion in contract monitoring meetings, to discuss relevant feedback you’ve received and progress with their work.

You could also consider holding joint LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion training with your suppliers or other ways to  collaborate. This work could start with your most major suppliers – for example any that provide staff or student-facing services on your behalf.


Our actions:

5.1 Work with the Procurement Team to consider ways in which new and existing suppliers can be asked about their EDI practices and policies to signal an expectation to uphold shared EDI values. 

5.2 Continue to build on those partnerships already established and explore opportunities for developing new partnerships with organisations which share our inclusive values.

5.3 Ensure our partnership working with local organisations/partners to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community together continues.

5.4 Encourage ​colleagues to think about their external partnerships at a local level.