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