Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

University awarded for commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion work

Home / More / News / University awarded for commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion work

Published on 23 February 2022

Stonewall Bronze Employer
Stonewall Bronze Employer

The University of Sunderland has been awarded for its commitment to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

This year, the University received a Bronze award from Stonewall, the world’s second-largest LGBTQ+ charity.

For 20 years, the charity has been supporting employers to create welcoming workplaces for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people.

According to the charity’s research, more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35 per cent) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments because they are LGBTQ+.

As part of Stonewall’s Bring Yourself To Work campaign, the charity has awarded a series of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to organisations to celebrate their inclusion work.

Justine Gillespie, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the University of Sunderland, said: “I am incredibly proud that the University has been recognised as a Stonewall Bronze Award holder.

“This was particularly pleasing as it was our first submission to the index but also as the period that was surveyed was during lockdown.

“Inclusion is a core value at the University, and we are fully committed to creating an inclusive culture for our LGBTQ+ colleagues by working with our All Identities Included Staff Network (for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies) to create an environment where people can bring their whole self to work.”

Justine added: “This award demonstrates that although we still have much to do, we have the basic fundamentals in place which is a great foundation on which to build.”

Liz Ward, Director of Programmes at Stonewall, said: “We spend so much of our time at work, and our career can be a huge part of how we define ourselves. Every single lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person should be able to be themself at work. From understanding how HR policies, such as parental leave, will affect them, to being reassured that they can speak openly about their lives and partners at the coffee machine, the impact of inclusive workplaces can be life-changing.

"It’s fantastic that the University of Sunderland has gained the Bronze award for their efforts and commitment to creating an inclusive work environment, and we look forward to seeing and supporting the rest of their inclusion journey.”