The LGBT Staff Network contributes to the achievement of an environment where everyone feels welcome and where the needs of individuals are recognised and addressed so that they can reach their full potential, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The network was established by members of staff in September 2013 with the election of a steering committee and the agreement of the terms of reference. It is chaired by Phill Gray as Acting Chair, which enables the Network to feed into the University’s policy and strategy. Its secretary, Ryan Boothroyd, coordinates the activities of the Network and its Steering Group and keeps a record of its members.
The Network supports the University and LGBT staff by:
- providing a safe environment in which to raise issues experienced by LGBT staff and students
- identifying and highlighting specific needs of LGBT staff and students and how to meet these
- raising awareness of and celebrating significant events in LGBT culture and history
- providing links with external LGBT communities, groups and organisations
- promoting good relations between LGBT and non-LGBT staff
- providing support, advice and information on LGBT matters to all staff, exercising confidentiality as and when appropriate.
The Network is coordinated by the Secretary with the support of the Equality and Diversity Adviser. The Network has a Steering Group which determines and oversees the Network’s activities and provides a report on activities and achievements to each meeting of the Network and the University’s Equality and Diversity Steering Group. Ad-hoc groups can be set up (for example, to organise social events or to review particular aspects of university life).
The Network has an open forum at least twice per year.
Membership of the Network is open to all staff, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity – straight/cisgender allies are encouraged to join. The term ‘staff’ includes both those employed by York St John University and those who work on campus but are employed by an external company (for example, York St John Students’ Union, Aramark or Constant Security Services). Any member of staff who attends a meeting or joins the mailing list is considered a member of the Network, unless they explicitly choose to opt out of membership.
The Steering Group is elected on an annual basis. The Steering Group will include at least one member of the Strategic Leadership Team and, as far as reasonably possible, will reflect the diversity of both the LGBT community and the work profile of the University. Membership of the Steering Group comprises a Chair, a Secretary, the University’s Equality and Diversity Adviser (ex officio), the Head of Human Resources (ex officio) and up to four non-portfolio members and a student representative nominated by the Students’ Union. The student representative is granted membership of the Network. The student representative may put forward an alternate on an ad-hoc basis.