University leader honoured for dedication to equality

  • University of Sheffield Professor Gill Valentine honoured by both the Financial Times and Excellence in Diversity Awards
  • Professor Valentine recognised for her dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Interim Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s research has highlighted the personal experiences of staff and students in higher education
  • Professor Valentine contributed to University of Sheffield’s Stonewall ranking and launched an LGBT allies programme

A senior leader from the University of Sheffield has been honoured in recognition of her dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Professor Gill Valentine, Interim Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of SheffieldProfessor Gill Valentine, Interim Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, has been recognised by three prestigious organisations – the Financial Times’ 2017 OUTstanding Public Sector LGBT+ Executives, the Stonewall Starting Out Guide, and the Excellence in Diversity Awards.

The Financial Times’ 2017 OUTstanding Leading Public Sector LGBT+ Executives is part of annual lists that recognise senior leaders from all sectors who are helping to make their workplace more welcoming.

It also honours those who are making a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusion outside of their workplace. For the first time, the lists include the public and third sectors and Professor Valentine is one of the 20 leaders recognised from around the world.

The Stonewall Starting Out Guide is a national go-to guide for students and people seeking a new career. It highlights the organisations and staff that are firmly committed to promoting equality for LGBT people.

The Excellence in Diversity Awards recognise individuals who have shown outstanding initiative to promote diversity both inside and outside of their organisation – making a positive difference to other people’s lives through significant contributions to social justice, equality and diversity. Professor Valentine has been shortlisted for the Diversity Champion Award for the Education Sector.

Professor Valentine, who is an ambassador for equality and inclusion at the University of Sheffield, said: “I’m delighted to be honoured and recognised in this way by three organisations who all champion equality and inclusion both in and out of the workplace.

“Equality is a hugely important thing for me personally. I believe people should be accepted for whoever they are and they should be able to bring their whole selves to work in a warm and welcoming environment.

“At the University of Sheffield, we actively champion equality, diversity and inclusion, which has helped us to create an open, inclusive environment for everyone, including LGBT staff and students. The people who work at the University are what makes it such a remarkable place to work, so I’m delighted to be part of an institution with such a diverse and inclusive community.”

Equality, diversity and inclusion is also a huge part of Professor Valentine’s research in the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography. In 2009, she conducted a ground breaking study into the personal experiences of LGBT staff and students in higher education.

Professor Valentine also actively engages with staff and students throughout the University’s community, represents LGBT and equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives at University Executive Board level and is a key driver of the University’s Power of Difference strategy, which aims to attract diverse, talented people with the relative skills, strengths and identities to make a positive impact on the University and the world.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, added: “Professor Valentine's track record in the understanding and promotion of diversity and respect within and between communities, coupled with this well-deserved recognition of these prestigious organisations, is a source of great pride to the University of Sheffield and an inspiration to colleagues and students alike.

“As a highly-respected academic, Professor Valentine has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to creating an inclusive working environment through her personal scholarship and the practical programmes she has personally championed. She has contributed to the University's strong ranking in the Stonewall Top 100, launched an LGBT allies programme, Open@TUOS, and continually encourages staff to engage with LGBT+ equality. For this tireless work, she has sincere respect and thanks."

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact: 

Sean Barton
Junior Public Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852