Gold Award for LGBT+ Inclusion
The University of Plymouth is delighted to have placed 7th in the education sectorin the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and 35th overall, recognising our commitment to LGBT+ inclusion. Over 400 organisations took part in Stonewall's annual equality index in 2022 and the University of Plymouth's sector-leading work on LGBT+ inclusion has also been recognised with a prestigious Gold Employer Award.
As a proud Civic University we are committed to ensuring our campus is welcoming to everyone who can benefit from a University of Plymouth education and we look forward to building on these results to further strengthen this commitment for all staff, students and visitors regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“This is a fantastic testament to the wonderful work that staff and students have done across all the Faculties and Directorates of the university to enable us to build a culture that is truly inclusive. The University of Plymouth has a fundamental commitment to real and meaningful inclusivity, and we know that our diversity is our strength. We also know that we have much more to do to, but these results are really encouraging evidence that the actions that we are all taking are making a true positive difference.”
Professor Sube Banerjee, Executive Dean – Faculty of Health
Chair of University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Chair of University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
What is the Stonewall WEI?
The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) is the definitive benchmarking tool for UK employers to measure our progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace as well as measuring how inclusive our services are for students and rewarding good practice within the local community. It also includes an anonymous survey for all staff to complete about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work. The University's submission was led by the
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team with input from staff and students across the University including our LGBT+ Staff Forum and University Women's Network.
What does the score mean?
Over 400 organisations take part in the WEI from a range of sectors including education, law, local government, banking and retail. The University of Plymouth was scored in eight different areas from employee policy and community engagement through to student experience and we ranked 35th overall. Within the education sector, the University of Plymouth ranked 7th making us a Top Ten University for LGBT+ inclusion. In fact, the University's work was so outstanding that we were also awarded a Gold Employer Award for demonstrating some of the best practice in the UK for LGBT+ inclusion.
Why does this matter?
According to research by Stonewall, 35% of LGBT+ people in the UK hide who they are at work and 18% have been the victims of homophobic and transphobic comments at work. In Universities across the UK, more than 42% of LGBT+ students hide their identity at University and 22% of Trans students have been assaulted because they are trans. This is unacceptable and must stop.
We are incredibly proud to be a Top Ten University for LGBT+ Inclusion, particularly as this achievement in supporting LGBT+ staff and students has only been possible thanks to the hard work of staff in all departments across the University from
Procurement and HR to Student Services and Student Wellbeing. We also worked closely with all of our staff networks as well as Plymouth's incredible community groups such as Pride in Plymouth and Not Alone Plymouth. LGBT+ inclusion is the responsibility of everyone within our University community and we want our LGBT+ staff and students to know that we support and celebrate them every day of the year.
Our award-winning work:
- Pride in Faith brought together LGBT+ faith leaders from across the UK in a unique online seminar.
Trans Policysupports trans and non-binary staff and students in bringing their whole selves to campus.
- We launched an
LGBT+ Inclusion Taskforceto review over 200 staff and student policies.
- In 2021 we became a
long-term sponsorof Not Alone Plymouth to support our local Trans community.
- We are proud sponsors of Pride in Plymouth and their work in supporting LGBT+ asylum seekers.
- The University has a
zero-tolerance approachto homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
- All new University buildings must include gender-neutral toilets, and we list them in our online map.
- We offer
LGBT+ Allyship and Trans Awareness Trainingto all of our staff.
What our people say
"I am so proud of the University of Plymouth. Let us celebrate the hard work and relentless commitment of so many people, which has now been recognised by Stonewall. However, there is lots left to do. This recognition reminds us that even when it feels like we have a mountain to climb, we can do it. My message to LGBT+ students and staff is thank you for being part of the Plymouth community; this is your University and a place you are welcome, we are privileged you chose Plymouth. This is a catalyst that serves to fuel even further our ambitions for inclusion and representation, and we’ll carry on listening and learning throughout, the University’s work won’t stop here."
Alice Ludgate, Head of Student Services
"I am proud of our University for being in the top ten UK University for LGBT+ inclusion. These results demonstrate to our LGBT+ students that they belong to an inclusive, welcoming and safe University. A University that listens to the voices of the LGBT+ community and enacts positive change based on their feedback."
Emi Dowse, UPSU President
"As a queer member of staff it was a privilege to lead the team behind this incredible result. Whilst the University will continue to celebrate the voices of our LGBT+ staff and students we must continue our work to ensure everyone within our community feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to campus."
Ariel Chapman, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
"As co-chair of the LGBT+ Staff Forum it is quite overwhelming and humbling to see our University achieve such amazing results in the 2022 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and to come 35th in the whole UK. This is all thanks to the allyship of many people working in all areas of the University who came together and worked tirelessly to change policies, to champion LGBT+ diversity and inclusion, and to organise and attend events. This is such a positive step for the University and shows not only current LGBT+ staff and students but also prospective LGBT+ staff and students that not only are they welcome at the University of Plymouth but that they are also valued and supported."
Jonathan Coe, LGBT+ Staff Forum Co-chair
“At a time when some organisations are turning their backs on progress and inclusion, it makes me all the more proud to be a student at the University of Plymouth, a Stonewall Top 10 University. Being trans isn’t easy in today’s society but the University is working hard to remove the barriers that trans people face in education and this means that myself and fellow trans students can access equitable education and can have an enjoyable university experience."
Dylan Tippetts, University of Plymouth Student
"We are absolutely delighted and proud to hear that the university’s commitment to promoting an inclusive, collegiate and diverse culture has been recognised in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2022. The results clearly demonstrate that hard work and a passion for inclusivity can impact our workplace culture. This is a great credit to the staff and students at Plymouth."
Dr Lucy Spowart and Trudie Haywood, University Women's Network