National Day For Staff Networks

National Day for Staff Networks

The University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Ariel Chapman, and our staff network chairs celebrate the incredible work our networks have achieved this year.

“It’s great to be part of a community where our voices matter and that the University listens to and values our opinions. The University would be such a different place if it didn’t have its networks and I am so grateful they are supported the way they are.”

Find out more about the National Day for Staff Networks


The National Day for Staff Networks 2020 is taking place on Wednesday 13 May and will be the fourth time it's been celebrated in recognition of the fantastic contribution of staff networks. The University of Plymouth is proud to celebrate our staff networks today and every day.

The University of Plymouth is home to five staff networks:

  • LGBT+ Staff Forum
  • University Womens Network
  • Staff with Disabilities Network
  • Grief and Bereavement Network
  • Menopause Support Network

Staff networks help support and empower staff who are often minoritised and marginalised, offering support, social events and guidance both in and out of the workplace. 

Staff Networks make work better which is why the theme for this year is #ADDINGVALUE

This page celebrates our staff networks and all they bring to our University community through videos and stories from staff network members themselves.

If you feel inspired, you can join or start a new staff network.

Why should I join a staff network? 

Joining a staff network is one of the best ways to make sure that your voice is heard and that challenges you are experiencing are not experienced alone.

By joining a network you can make a difference to the working lives of everyone at the University. Over the last few years our staff networks have achieved some incredible things:

  • the LGBT+ Staff Forum worked on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index submission, with the University coming 156th out of 445 entries
  • the Women's Network helped petition for a blue plaque in honour of Rose Bale, Plymouth's first female GP
  • the LGBT+ Staff Forum sponsor and attend Plymouth Pride every year
  • the Staff with Disabilities Network helped to design our Stay safe overseas guidance on travelling with protected characteristics.

Why I got involved in a staff network


The National Day for Staff Networks Campaign Committee have been touring the UK to meet people and hear your stories about how staff networks have helped to #makeworkbetter for you. They have also interviewed senior leaders to find out how networks have enhanced the organisation.

Watch the interviews

"What it means to me to be part of a staff network is connectivity. It is so valuable to feel part of something bigger than our own department, giving opportunities for insights into how others are working and what others’ issues may be. Often those issues prove to be similar and there is something helpful and supportive about that. Knowing (realising?) it’s not just you!" 

Women's Network member

"What it means to be part of a staff network is that you are part of a diverse team who are from various areas of the university sharing ideas and thoughts where positive actions can take place everywhere." 

Staff network member

"The LGBT+ Staff Forum supported me and made my life what it is today…it sounds dramatic but it’s true, I will always be grateful that it existed and for the people that made it happen" 

LGBT+ Staff Forum member

"Being a part of a network shows you are not alone, you learn, share knowledge and support and make good contacts who can often help you in the future or you can help them!" 

Menopause Network member

Staff Network Guidance

Staff networks at the University of Plymouth form a core part of our commitment to promote an inclusive environment and diverse community, and are referenced as actions within our Equality Strategy, Wellbeing Strategy and Athena Swan action plans.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team has worked with trade unions and staff networks to create guidance on working time allowances for involvement within staff networks as well as information on how this can contribute to your PDR. 

Read the guidance