National Day for Staff Networks
“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.”
The University of Plymouth also runs a Researcher Forum. The Researcher Forum allows research staff, academics and staff supporting researchers the valuable opportunity to join discussions, hear developments, share practice, connect and be consulted on important issues for researchers. Topics for discussion/information can be directed by researchers and will include, for example: professional development, representation and working within a research environment.
What is a staff network?
Staff networks offer you the opportunity to discuss challenges you have faced at work in a safe space surrounded by people like yourself. You can talk, share experiences and offer support and advice in a confidential setting; this engagement is strongly supported by the University of Plymouth yet remains independent and impartial.
Being part of a staff network helps you to voice concerns that could go unreported and you are empowered to improve University policies and practices and help implement change. All staff networks are represented at the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (UEDIC) and are genuinely involved in decision making and policy reviews; you have the opportunity to be the change you want to see.
Each staff network is run by its members and they all work slightly differently with a range of social events, meetings and learning opportunities; the best way to find out more is to contact the network you are interested in joining.
How are networks supported?
All networks are supported by the University of Plymouth's Executive Group and receive funds to co-ordinate their activities. Each network will choose to spend their funds differently with a range of social activities, public lectures or private learning events for members; it is completely up to the network on how they run.
Line Managers should be supportive of their staff joining employee networks; they are an integral part of our University community. If you have any concerns or are experiencing any problems in joining a staff network then email email@example.com
Why should I join?
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.
Can I start a new network?
Absolutely! We welcome ideas and will support the creation of new staff networks for often marginalised and minoritised communities. Currently, we are looking for input on creating a 'Race/Ethnicity/Multicultural Network' for staff within the University.
As networks are self-run and independent we cannot launch these ourselves but we can offer support and guidance in setting a network up; email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.