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Brunel gains silver award for being an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer


Brunel University London's increasingly active and supportive network for LGBTQ+ staff (those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer), and its work with colleagues to make Brunel an even better place for LGBTQ+ staff and students, have been recognised by a silver award as part of Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index 2022, announced today.

The award heralds a jump to 148th out of all organisations in the index, up from 296th in 2020.

Stonewall is a major UK charity championing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and its annual league table – paused in 2021 because of the pandemic – helps demonstrate to prospective staff that organisations are an inclusive and attractive place to work.

The new initiatives of the network included a series of LGBTQ+ Changemaker events involving the speakers:

  • Sue Sanders of Schools Out UK, who brought to life the history of LGBT+ History Month
  • Ellie Prohan, a DJ who studied business and management at Brunel, who shared her experiences of being LGBTQ+ in the music industry, and
  • Kate Richardson-Walsh, Olympic gold-winning Team GB hockey captain and Brunel sports sciences graduate, who spoke on the importance of inclusive sport.

The network ensured that staff policies that were being developed addressed the needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ staff, including leading on Brunel's trans and non-binary employee policy, which ensures that our trans and non-binary colleagues can feel safe and supported at work.

Among other activities, the network also published informative articles for staff to read throughout LGBT+ History Month in February and Pride Month in June.

Jessica Kath, the LGBTQ+ staff network coordinator, said: “Last year was a busy and rewarding one for us. Everything the network worked on supported the delivery of the university's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, with the aim of making Brunel an even more welcoming community for LGBTQ+ staff and students. And taking part in the Workplace Equality Index is part of how we measure our progress for this strategy, year on year.

“We've had some great feedback from people who've attended our events, from our colleagues in HR, and from the sessions we've held with the university's senior leadership. Knowing what we're doing is making a positive difference is rewarding in itself, but getting a silver award helps us show people outside the university what it's like to be part of the Brunel community.

“There's still more to be done to improve the experience of LGBTQ+ staff, so the network will continue working towards eliminating discrimination and other negative experiences in the workplace.”

Dr Survjit Cheeta, Brunel's Dean for Culture and Inclusion, added: “At Brunel, we are extremely proud of our LGBTQ+ community and take pride in creating an environment that is inclusive, respectful and free from discrimination. The LGBTQ+ network and their allies across the university should be commended for this achievement, which is the result of their hard work.

“Brunel is a diverse institution, and it is through inclusivity that we can create a shared environment in which everyone has a voice and sense of belonging so we can reach our full potential. My hope is that the entire Brunel community continues to lead and inspire on our equality, diversity and inclusivity mission. This announcement is a celebration for our LGBTQ+ community, so please let us all join in to congratulate them.”


Find out more about Brunel's LGBTQ+ Staff Network.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821