Introducing the newly branded University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network

The University of Reading LGBT+ Staff Network has now been rebranded as the University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network! Pleased to meet you all!

Over the summer, the LGBT+ Staff Network has been working on re-strategising our efforts to increase awareness of the Network, and to better reflect the diverse identities which we are keen to celebrate and support across campus and beyond. This has included the addition of some new objectives for the Network.

These new objectives are: to increase membership of the Network, encourage allyship initiatives across campus, install a robust steering group structure to oversee the day to day running of the Network, and to build a fundraising model for the Network to expand our support and outreach initiatives both on campus and in the local community in Reading.

The idea of a rebrand was considered to mark a new era of the Network for LGBTQIA+ Staff at the University of Reading characterised by proactive support, strong and cohesive LGBTQIA+ communities, an increase in presence both on and off campus, new volunteering opportunities and the development of a robust fundraising model for the Network. Additionally, we wanted to ensure Postgraduate students, and sessional, part-time, and casual staff are supported and represented within our initiatives.

After liaising with the existing LGBTQIA+ Action Plan Group (APG) on the idea of rebranding the Network, the idea was overwhelmingly supported. We consulted the LGBTQIA+ APG on preferred new names for the network, with the majority vote indicating that our APG was keen on the rebrand featuring the renaming of the network to the University of Reading ‘LGBTQIA+ Staff Network’.

With direction from our APG, the existing Staff Network Team consisting of Co-Chairs Ruvi Ziegler and Tahlia-Rose Virdee, Lead Ally, Michael Kilmister and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Allán Laville worked together with the Creative and Print Services on campus to produce a new logo, email banner, events banner and merchandise for the newly minted LGBTQIA+ Staff Network. The new logo and merchandise is inclusive of the Progress Flag with the Intersex symbol to ensure that we are representing the diversity which comprises our campus and community.

The branded merchandise we have ordered was informed by suggestions from the wider LGBTQIA+ APG, including aluminium enamel pin badges and Network postcards, which detail how to contact us and feature the words ‘LGBTQIA+ Champion’ for those who would like to advertise their support for the Network across campus. We shall be looking into further merchandising options next academic year based on the suggestions of the LGBTQIA+ APG.

We shall be showing off our new branding at Reading Pride on Saturday 2nd September 2023, where there will be a face painter and glitter technicians at our stall to brighten your day further. Come and say hi!

Please see our new Logo and email banner, which you are all free to use to promote the Network, show your support, and demonstrate your commitment to the LGBTQIA+ communities at the University of Reading:

The new banner for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading

The new logo with the dark grey background for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading. It features the progress pride flag and intersex symbol in the shape of a ring around text that reads 'Staff LGBTQIA+ Network'The new logo for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading. It features the progress pride flag and intersex symbol in the shape of a ring around text that reads 'Staff LGBTQIA+ Network'









The LGBTQIA+ Staff network would like to express special thanks to all who have been part of this rebranding project! Firstly to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Allán Laville, who has supported the rebranding and the revamping of the Network no end. Secondly, to Hannah Tollett and the CPS Team at the University of Reading for translating our design ideas into sleek visuals. Thirdly, to our wider LGBTQIA+ APG who provide constructive and creative feedback which is of the upmost value to our Network. Finally, to the Diversity and Inclusion Team at the University of Reading, including Ceara Webster and Sinead O’Flynn who support our day to day running! We salute you all.

There are exciting things to come over the next academic year, and we shall update you frequently on our progress. To track our progress please follow us:

Twitter/ X: @UniRDG_LGBTPlus

Facebook: UORLGBT

To join our LGBTQIA+ Staff Network on Teams, please send us an email:

All the best,

The University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network Team

Reflections on Pride Month: LGBT+ Staff Network Allyship

June, being international LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, was a busy period for the LGBT+ Staff Network. The Network hosted a series of events, most notably the flagship Wolfenden Lecture which you can read about in this blog post here. Things were busy on the allyship front, too, with two introductory allyship training sessions being run by the authors of this blog post. The sessions – which the authors of this blog post ran on 21 and 30 June – saw some of the strongest attendance this training has seen, with 35 attendees across the two events.  

A total of 11 schools and functions were represented at allyship training during Pride. This data has been compiled from ‘meeting’ attendance lists generated by Teams and is supplied by People Development.  


  • Campus Commerce
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing, Communication & Engagement (MCE) 
  • Research Services 
  • School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science (SAGES) 
  • School of Arts and Communication Design (SACD) 
  • School of Humanities 
  • School of Literature and Languages (SLL)
  • School of Mathematical, Physical & Computational Sciences (SMPCS)
  • School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences (SPCLS)
  • Student Services

In total, 61 members of staff have undertaken LGBT+ allyship training so far in 2023. We thank sincerely all colleagues who have made time in their busy schedules to attend the training! 

Alongside a promotional push on the Staff Portal for Pride Month, attendance was very likely helped along by an allyship training pledge initiative. Earlier in June the Network’s leadership group, led by co-chairs Tahlia Virdee and Dr Ruvi Ziegler, co-signed a letter to heads of schools and functions that urged them ‘to encourage … colleagues and members of department to take part in the allyship training’ and to start ‘the work we can do together to ensure that campus is a safe, supportive and enriching environment for both LGBT+ staff and students at the University of Reading.’ The Network has already received a number of emails from senior leaders pledging their support for the initiative.  

Haven’t had an opportunity to get along to an allyship training event yet? There is an upcoming ‘Introducing Allyship and the LGBT+ Ally Staff Network’ session on 30 August, which you can sign up for on UoRlearn. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Dr Michael Kilmister, Lead Ally of the LGBT+ Staff Network

Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Fund – Applications Open!

Colleagues at the University of Reading can now apply for funding to help boost projects that promote diversity and inclusion at the University.

The Central D&I team is accepting bids for funding between £300 and £1000. Previous successful bids include work to decolonise the curriculum, networking activities, allyship training and efforts to tackle attainment gaps.

Applications that align with key priorities, which include considerations of disability and neurodiversity, LGBT+ inclusion, racial equity, sex equality, and their intersections, are particularly welcome.

Applications are welcome from all colleagues across the University. Projects suggested by students, supported by a staff member as the project lead are also invited.

Any allocated funds must be used by July 2024.

Assessments will be based on the following principles:

  • Diversity and inclusion relevance specifically to School, Function or University.
  • Link to School/Function/University aims or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – although we would also encourage initiatives relevant to other protected characteristics.
  • Potential and plan for longer term impact on wider University.

Please note that as a condition of the funding, some reporting back is required:

  • A 1-2 page report received by the end of August 2024 that details: name of project and leaders and funding awarded; what has been done; what has been spent; what impact(s) there have been and any measurement of this; what follow-up plans there are, or plans for sustaining activities into the future.
  • Where possible, 1-2 photos relevant to work you have done as part of the project that might use in publicity, such as the Staff Portal or through social media, together with a completed permission form if relevant. These should be high resolution.
  • A short piece to be published on the #DiverseReading blog. This can be reflections at the end of the project, or a progress report part-way through.

How to apply

Applications must be made either through the MS Form or by using this Application Form (Word). If you wish to use the Word form, please complete and email it to the central Diversity and Inclusion Team at

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Monday 11 September 2023.

Applicants should be informed of decisions on funding bids by October 2023. The decisions made by the panel are final. Feedback will be provided where possible.