Welcome to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Staff Network.

The network enables LGBT staff to come together to share information, support and, by signalling a LGBT presence on campus, to ensure we maintain a comfortable and fully inclusive environment in which we can each reach our full potential without fear of discrimination.

The LGBT Network:

  • Provides a forum for networking and a means of peer support between LGBT staff
  • Offers the opportunity for colleagues from all areas of the University to inform and collaborate on LGBT action
  • Communicates information and updates to colleagues interested in LGBT matters
  • Offers a range of training and development opportunities
  • Liaises with other groups, e.g., staff and student societies, to share information
  • Provides information, confidential support and advice on sexual orientation or gender identity issues in response to queries from all colleagues across the University

If you wish to know more about the network, email us on or just want a friendly ear to talk to, please feel free in confidence to contact:

Network Chair:
Matthew Mears on

My LGBT experience at the University of Sheffield


Matt Mears: ‘I’m more comfortable and more productive not hiding away’ Photograph: Jill Jennings for the Guardian

Matt Mears, 32, got together with his partner 13 years ago, at the end of his first year as an undergraduate at the University of Sheffield, at a time when no legal recognition for same-sex couples yet existed in the UK.

He later went on to study for a Phd there; through that, he secured a job as a physics lecturer.

The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have changed significantly over that time, with civil partnerships and then, since 2014, same-sex marriage, and he says things at the institution have changed too.

“It has always been supportive, but very quietly,” he says. “But in the past few years, the institution has started to openly say: ‘We will not tolerate this [discrimination].’”

As chair of the university’s LGBT staff network, part of his remit is to encourage all staff to speak openly about LGBT issues and to make the support the university provides more visible – and not just for LGBT people. “A lot of our straight colleagues are concerned not to upset anyone, so it is about creating a safe space for them to have a conversation too,” he says.

Having open support from pro-vice-chancellors and the vice-chancellor has helped, and he has never been worried about taking his partner along with him to events or talking about him. “That makes me feel more comfortable and I’m more productive at work because I’m not having to hide away,” he says. “I don’t think my sexuality has had an impact at work at all.”

The Network also provides a space to raise instances of bullying and harassment. If you feel you are facing bullying and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, please contact the Network. Alternatively, find out the different routes to raise your concerns at Reporting bullying and harassment.

There are a number of e-learning courses covering a variety of different aspects of equality and diversity, as well as the expectations and responsibilities we share to maintain an inclusive culture such as gender matters and sexual orientation. For more information see equality and diversity.

The University’s strategy promises to “provide ambitious staff the opportunity to develop their talents and realise their dreams, drawing on the skills and potential of the widest possible range of colleagues to maximise the benefits of difference”. To learn more see development everywhere

The Network meets formally four times a year, usually between 1pm and 2pm on campus to discuss Network progress and business. We also try to alternate between focussed meetings and open social gatherings where we can catch up over a cup of tea or coffee. All LGBT members of staff are welcome to come along.

We encourage and welcome suggestions for future network dates and would value your input to help shape the future of the group.

We warmly welcome all LGBT colleagues to the Network.

LGBT Staff Network Socials

Wednesday 21 September 2016

5.00 - 7.00pm    After-work Social: University Arms, 197 Brook Hill

Tuesday 11 October 2016

12.00 - 1.30pm   Coffee & lunchtime social: Room A85 Richard Roberts Building

Thursday 27 October 2016

5.00 - 7.00pm     After-work social: University Arms Pub, 197 Brook Hill

Wednesday 9 November 2016

12.00 - 1.30pm   Coffee & lunchtime social: Interval Cafe Bar, Sheffield Students' Union

Friday 25 November 2016

5.00 - 7.00pm     After-work social: University Arms Pub, 197 Brook Hill

Monday 12 December 2016

5.00 -7.00pm     After-work Christmas social: University Arms, 197 Brook Hill

We also have an LGBT Staff Network Google+ page, to network, discuss issues and share stories and resources.

Career development opportunities

The Sheffield Professional initiative helps to ensure that the University values the talent of our professional staff and enables them to develop key skills and experience working across boundaries. The Sheffield Professional webpage holds details of secondments and project opportunities, job swaps and work shadowing.

For latest news and opportunities follow The Sheffield Professional on Twitter @SUProfessional