Action in support of LGBTQ+ staff and students
The particular challenges to inclusion of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or who identify anywhere under the spectrum defined by LGBTQ+ may be harder to see because they arise from traits that are less visible. However, the experiences of marginalisation are no less real.
Protection in law is no guarantee of acceptance for who you are. LGBTQ+ students may face particular challenges, especially those for whom coming to university may represent the first time that they feel able to express their gender identity or sexual orientation.
We know from incident reports and survey data that heterosexist attitudes (i.e. the assumption everyone is straight) and prejudices against LGBTQ+ people are exhibited by some staff and students at Imperial, resulting in harassment and experiences of exclusion and discrimination. We are determined to combat that to create a culture where LGBTQ+ people feel welcome, included and able to be themselves.
We will make fuller use of our participation in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index to drive change at Imperial. While progress has been made in recent years to make Imperial more inclusive of LBGTQ+ people, the Stonewall Index shows that we have not kept pace with best practice in the higher education sector.
Therefore from now on, as part of our annual submission we will create and publish an action plan with specific and time-sensitive deliverables. We expect these actions to have the effect of improving our ranking in the Stonewall Index year on year, with the ultimate aim of being a leading HE institution in terms of the environment we offer to LBGTQ+ staff and students. As well as providing tangible benefits, this will boost our reputation as an inclusive university.
We will review HR policies to ensure they afford equal rights to LGBTQ+ staff.
We will review our provision of LGBTQ+ awareness training for all new staff and students to make sure this is sufficiently broad to include issues faces by transgender and non-binary people.
We will provide guidance to all staff and students on the importance of inclusive language for LGBTQ+ people and respect for individual choices of pronoun or titles.
We will celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ people at Imperial, including events such as Diverse@Imperial week and during LGBT History Month.
We will promote participation in the Imperial 600 staff network.
We will ensure that at least one tutor per department is trained to support trans, non-binary and LGBTQ+ students.