University of Sheffield recognised as top employer for LGBT+ workplace equality

  • University of Sheffield named as a Top 100 Employer 2020 for workplace equality by the leading LGBT+ charity Stonewall
  • The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2020 ranks Sheffield in 11th place, the University’s highest ever ranking
  • The University of Sheffield has also been named as a Top Trans Inclusive Employer for the second year running
  • In Stonewall’s Regional Awards the University has been awarded Employer of the Year and Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Gill Valentine has been named Senior Champion of the Year


The University of Sheffield has been named as a Top 100 Employer for LGBT+ workplace equality for the seventh year in a row by the leading LGBT+ charity Stonewall, achieving its highest ever ranking.

In recognition of its continued dedication to workplace equality, the University has been ranked 11th in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2020 – a definitive benchmarking tool that helps employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.

The University is passionate about developing an inclusive work environment where LGBT+ staff and students feel able to be themselves and can reach their full potential. To build on its progress so far, the institution will continue to work in partnership with staff, students and allies to further progress LGBT+ inclusion and continue to make improvements to its workplace in 2020.

Over the past year the University has conducted a systematic review of its policies, which has resulted in a number of recommended amendments to the adoption, maternity, paternity/partner and shared parental leave policies to remove any gendered terms, and clarify that policies are inclusive of same sex couples, regardless of gender.

The University has developed guidance for LGBT+ students and staff studying and working abroad, has enhanced local community engagement, and the Open@TUoS allies programme has continued to go from strength to strength, with over 2,800 supporters across the University.

Open@TUoS was developed with the LGBT+ Staff Network and aims to empower all staff to help create an open, inclusive environment for LGBT+ colleagues and students at the University. Supporters do this by sharing information, encouraging people to take part in LGBT+ events and training and by encouraging staff to actively and visibly support LGBT+ inclusion.

The Stonewall Regional Awards for Yorkshire and the Humber named the University of Sheffield as Employer of the Year and Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield and the University’s Senior LGBT+ Champion, has been named Senior Champion of the Year.

Professor Valentine said: “Recognition from Stonewall is testament to our dedication to bring about culture change and develop a truly inclusive University where LGBT+ colleagues and students feel they belong, are supported to be themselves and can flourish to reach their potential.

“I am honoured and humbled to have been named Senior Champion of the Year and I will continue to champion equality and diversity. I came out at a time when being openly gay was taboo. I experienced discrimination and harassment in the early stages of my career which I overcame in part through the support of straight allies. That’s why I’m passionate about developing an inclusive work environment. Over the past 30 years or so there has been real and positive change in relation to equality and diversity in the workplace and our University has been at the forefront of many innovative initiatives.”

Additional information 

Stonewall Top 100

Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.

Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 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 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

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:

Emma Griffiths
PR and Media Assistant
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1034