City recognised for its efforts in becoming a more inclusive employer during LGBTQ+ History Month.

By City Press Office (City Press Office), Published

City, University of London has received a Silver award in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and secured a spot inStonewall LGBT+ Inclusive Employer Silver Award 2023 Stonewall’s Top 100 list of inclusive employers.

Stonewall is Europe’s largest charity for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer rights. The Workplace Equality Index assesses organisations’ achievements and progress on LGBTQ+ equality and publishes awards annually based on employment policy and practice and an anonymous survey.

The result was released during LGBTQ+ History Month.

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index result

The Silver award and inclusion in the Top 100 Employers List recognises City’s significant efforts towards creating an inclusive and supportive network for its LGBTQ+ staff and students in the past year.

Stonwall Top 100 Employers List 2023Policies and actions that have been put in place at City include internal EDI training for recruiting managers; all gender facilities; EDI-related personal development objectives for each staff member during their appraisals; and an LGBTQI+ staff network hosting regular events with a formal senior ambassador.

City has shown a longstanding commitment to creating an inclusive environment for its LGBTQIA+ staff and adopted a transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming (TIGNC) policy in 2017. Earlier this year, City’s President Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein reaffirmed this commitment to EDI by embedding it in the 2030 strategy as a key element of City’s culture.

Professor Anna Whitelock, Executive Dean of the School of Communication and Creativity, holds the role of LGBTQIA+ Ambassador within the University’s Senior Leadership Team. She said:

We are delighted to have been awarded Silver in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, this will be a springboard to implement and embed a range of initiatives that celebrate and recognise the enormous contribution LGBTQ+ staff and students make to City’s vibrant community.

As LGBTQIA+ ambassador I am proud to champion this important work and continue to listen to and represent LGBTQ+ staff and students and ensure their voices are heard at all levels of the university.

Dr Kavita Powley, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) said:

Achieving Stonewall Silver and to be ranked within Stonewall’s Top 100 Employer’s list is an incredible accomplishment for City. It demonstrates City’s commitment to improving the culture and inclusivity for our LGBTQ+ colleagues, students, and celebrates the diverse community that we serve.

I would like to acknowledge the amazing collective effort of everyone involved in the work to submit our first Stonewall Workplace Equality Index submission. It is indicative of one of the several significant milestones we have achieved on our journey to a more inclusive University, where everyone feels able to be their unique self and has equitable opportunities to thrive.

Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall said:

It’s been fantastic to see all of the work put in by City, University of London over the past year to create a workplace where LGBTQ+ staff feel free to thrive as themselves.

Creating environments where we can all feel comfortable makes our workplaces a safer, better and friendlier place for everyone and helps staff be proud of who they are.

City is committed to a wide range of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion activities which reflect our ongoing aim to be an open and inclusive place to work and study. Stonewall WEI is one of the charter marks the University has taken part in (and been awarded for) in the last year, recognising the progress we've made and our commitment to future actions. Others include: Athena Swan bronze renewal (for gender equality, Advance HE); Race Equality Charter bronze award (Advance HE); Disability Confident Employer (government initiative); and joining the University Mental Health Charter programme.

City marks LGBTQ+ History Month

The 2023 theme of LGBTQ+ History Month is #BehindTheLens, which aims to honour LGBTQ+ people for their contributions to cinema behind the camera. The celebrate this theme, the Student Union is hosting two LGBTQIA+ Film Nights on campus.The Student Union celebrates LGBTQIA+ History Month

The Student Union has also organised a series of educational and social events to mark the month, including handing out badges and information on using correct pronouns, a walking tour of Soho to explore London’s queer history, and an upcoming trip to the newly opened Queer Britain Museum.

To mark the month, the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion hosted an LGBTQ+ History Month Stall in the University Building on the main campus, another at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), and a third at the performing arts school Urdang at Finsbury Town Hall.

The Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion organises a monthly Diversify your Mind Club event, allowing staff to engage in intersectional discussions on race and racism, typically focused on a piece of media such as a book, movie or documentary. The group will be hosting its February session about the book ‘The Only Freedom We Can See’, an assemblage of writings of queer people incarcerated in the US, to mark the month.

The Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion team will also host a training session for staff about trans awareness. Next month, the team will be co-hosting a panel discussion with students and staff from City and University College London (UCL) on the topic ‘LGBTQ+ History Month: Imagining a Queer Utopia in Higher Education and Beyond.’