#RainbowLanyard campaign shortlisted for equality award
The University’s #RainbowLanyard campaign has been shortlisted for a prestigious Guardian University Award for the Advancing Staff Equality category.
The Advancing Staff Equality award is presented to ‘an outstanding initiative that has a significant and measurable impact on improving staff equality and/or diversity. This could range from a high-level institutional strategy to specific campaigns, but must have a lasting benefit for the careers and working lives of staff.’
We will find out if we are winners at a ceremony on Tuesday April 24.
The campaign launched in January this year to raise awareness, and membership, of Open@TUoS - the University’s LGBT+ staff allies scheme. Open@TUoS is open to all colleagues regardless of their gender identity and/or sexual identity.
Across campus rainbows appeared on posters, limited edition hot drinks cups, flags and on plasma screens. Colleagues shared their stories about why they were proud to wear the lanyard and support LGBT+ staff and students whilst encouraging peers to join them and sign up for their own #RainbowLanyard.
An unprecedented number of colleagues signed up to the scheme during the campaign meaning that now over 2,000 members of staff are now registered as supporters of Open@TUoS. That means over a quarter of staff are proud to be LGBT+ allies and wear their #RainbowLanyard.
Follow @SheffUniStaff for more updates.
Will you wear the Rainbow?
Colleagues who sign up to Open@TUoS will receive a pack that includes a rainbow lanyard, one of the most popular ways of visibly showing support amongst colleagues. In the pack, there are other ways supporters can show their commitment to the LGBT+ community, including wearing rainbow badges and displaying Open@TUoS door signs. Colleagues will also be added to the Open@TUoS mailing list and will receive updates.
Any member of staff is welcome to join Open@TUoS regardless of sexuality and/or gender identity. You can sign up to become a member and receive your rainbow lanyard here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/lgbt
Let us know why you wear the lanyard and encourage more colleagues to join, by Tweeting @SheffUniStaff, using #RainbowLanyard.
The University’s Senior Diversity Champion, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Gill Valentine, wears her lanyard with pride:
“The rainbow lanyard symbolises equality and inclusion. 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.”
Dr Matt Mears, Chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network and Co-Founder of Open@TUoS talks about the importance of visible allies:
"For a new student or member of staff who identifies as LGBT+ it can be scary moving to a new place, but immediately seeing so many staff committed to visibly stating their support as an LGBT+ ally shows that the University of Sheffield truly is a safe and welcoming place for people to be themselves.”