- how networks effectively deliver change intersectionally (viable),
- how known they are for their contributions in their organisation (visible),
- how they work together to amplify their voice for change (voices).
The LGBT+ Staff Forum with Not Alone Plymouth ran an event called “How to be a Trans Ally” which covered topics including the difficulties Trans people face in accessing medical support, how to report hate crimes and practical tips on how to be a Trans ally with day-to-day actions everyone can take. It was attended by over 120 people from the UoP, the NHS, Plymouth City Council, Exeter University, and the Police.
Thanks to their groundbreaking work in supporting staff through the menopause, the Menopause Support Network are now collaborating with 3rd year medical students on a project looking at Menopause in the Workplace.
In collaboration with Human Resources, the Carers and Parents Network produced an 'Advice for Staff and Managers' guide to help carers and parents navigate the various employment options available to them through the stages of Covid-19 lockdown.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the University Women's Network have led the way in online conferences and networking. In March 2021 they launched a webpage dedicated to celebrating Plymouth's incredible women and in March 2022 they held their first online conference with nearly 200 attendees from across the University and the wider city to mark International Women's Day.
Over the past two years, the LGBT+ Staff Forum have run a series of LGBT+ Allies Training sessions which nearly 200 staff have completed. In total, the Forum has 488 staff who have signed up as LGBT+ Allies.
As well as collaborating with medical students, the Menopause Support Network is now working with academics in the Faculty of Health to include and improve menopause education in the healthcare curriculum.
The Staff with Disabilities Network worked with Human Resources and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team to improve data on staff with disabilities. The campaign saw a significant increase in the number of staff sharing that they have a disability which means the University can provide the right support at the right time for our staff.
Our Menopause Support Network have been asked to deliver presentations for South West Women in Business and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce on menopause support at the University, recognising their best practice work in supporting everyone during menopause.
In response to local and national campaigns on violence against women, the University Women's Network joined Plymouth's Violence Against Women and Girls Commission. This important work brings together multiple public sector organisations across the city in order to prevent violence against women and girls and enact long-term culture change across the City of Plymouth.
The Carers and Parents Network continues to go from strength to strength and supporting National Carers Week in 2021. They pledged to grow network membership particularly reaching out to colleagues balancing ongoing caring responsibilities with work but who might not define themselves as carers.
The LGBT+ Staff Forum worked with the University on their submission to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Their voice helped to improve policies and procedures at the University for LGBT+ staff and students, as a result the University was graded 35th out of 403 organisations for LGBT+ inclusion and gained a Gold Employer Award.
Following the tragic killing of Bobbi-Anne McLeod, the University Women's Network provided safe online spaces for women to share experiences of harassment and abuse and access support.
As the Carers and Parents Network continues to grow, they have set up a number of informal subgroups linking up staff from across the University with similar interest areas to provide peer support and social connections.
Educating staff and students about disabilities is core to the work of the Staff with Disabilities Network. The network worked with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team to create a 'Disability Toolkit' open to all staff and students to educate our community on disabilities. The toolkit includes podcasts, information sheets, short films and documentaries so staff and students can find resources to suit them.
Staff Networks 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.