Sheffield Pride 2016: The power of being visible

Open@tuos

“If being a visible ally helps just one person feel that little bit more comfortable around campus, then I think I’ve done a great job” James Gregory, Open@TUoS

On Saturday 30 July we supported Sheffield Pride. Colleagues from the LGBT staff network, the Students’ Union and Open@TUoS hosted a stall at the festival’s marketplace and we joined the Pride march on Ecclesall Road.

The march started from the city centre, going along Ecclesall road and up to the main event in Endcliffe Park.

Thanks for sharing your photos on Twitter over the weekend. We've created a Storify to summarise your tweets and reactions during Pride 2016, and to reflect on how we marked this special event.

Read Pride 2016 Storify

james gregory and colleagues pride march

Open@TUoS – 700 followers!

Supporting Sheffield Pride is just one way we choose to show our commitment to inclusion in the workplace. Speaking at the Open@TUoS launch event back in January 2016, Professor Gill Valentine said that creating an open and inclusive environment is everyone's responsibility.

700 colleagues including people from every faculty, AMRC and right across Professional Services have signed up to our LGBT allies programme, Open@TUoS, and are wearing rainbow lanyards showing their support for LGBT equality.

The launch of Open@TUoS came as we were ranked as a top 100 employer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff for the third year running in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list.

During Intro week (19–24 September 2016) we will be talking to students about Open@TUoS to let them know that staff wearing rainbow lanyards are LGBT allies and a safe person to talk to about LGBT issues.

Inclusive, welcome, safe and united

Being an inclusive university goes beyond respecting sexual orientation. In our recent staff survey, over 90 per cent of respondents agreed that the University respects people regardless of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, religion or beliefs and gender identity.

And in a broader sense we continue to promote the importance of making sure that all our staff and students wherever they are from feel welcome, safe and united. This is the focus of our #WeAreInternational campaign which is committed to ensuring universities remain diverse and inclusive communities.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, a committed and visible supporter of equality and diversity, and Stonewall Schools Champion, said: “The Open@TUoS campaign, the LGBT Staff Network and many other initiatives are giving us a more visible and public opportunity to share our practice. More importantly, I genuinely hope they are allowing us internally to reflect on the fact that our University is trying very hard to be a truly inclusive institution and that we should all feel safe here to be who we are and be even better at what we do.”

Visible symbols of inclusion

To support Sheffield Pride, the rainbow flag is flying at Firth Court. The flag is a powerful symbol of inclusion and welcome to many, not only LGBT staff and students. We have also dressed the Arts Tower in Pride 2016 lettering:

Rainbow flag at Firth Court

Arts Tower