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Diversity and equality networks – University of Reading

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Diversity and equality networks

We currently have five diversity networks helping to support and promote diversity and inclusion at Reading.

We encourage anyone who's interested in starting a new network to contact one of our Diversity and Inclusion Deans.

Parent and family network

The Parent and Family Network is designed to be a source of information-sharing and support for working parents and parents-to-be at the University of Reading. It has been set up by parents, for parents, and is open to all colleagues who have, or care for, children (of any age) or who expect to in the future.

The coordinators of the group are Nicola Hall ( and Ellen McManus-Fry (, who were inspired to set up the Network when they realised the importance of peer support and informal information networks in their return to work after maternity leave.

From next term (October 2019) we intend to hold quarterly meet-ups where you will be able to find out about the facilities and policies in place to support working parents, meet other members of the Network, and share your experiences of balancing family and work.

To join the Network you can either email the coordinators or follow the Microsoft Teams group link.

STaff DisAbility Network

Launched in 2017, the Staff Disability Network is an inclusive support network for all staff with a range of disabilities, impairments and / or mental health conditions, as well as non-disabled staff with an interest in disability issues.

The core principle of the network is one of equality. The network aims to promote an increased influence within the University of Reading, to make our community more inclusive to all staff members. We aim to give the disabled a voice in the University, to provide a consultation group on matters such as management, HR and building works, to inspire culture change and raise awareness, and to develop a network of allies across the University.

The Staff Disability Network, chaired by Yota Dimitriadi (0118 378 2688), works closely with the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Simon Chandler-Wilde. For more information and to join the group please contact

LGBT Plus network

Launched in 2014, LGBT Plus is an inclusive staff support network for individuals identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, as well as other sexual and gender identities, and their allies. LGBT Plus has a social and representative function, ensuring that new and established members of staff and PGR students across the University feel supported by a visible and informal staff network.

The LGBT Plus network, led by Alina Tryfonidou and Allán Laville, work closely with Simon Chandler-Wilde, Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Yasmin Ahmed, the Diversity and Inclusion Advisor.

The network hosts a series of annual events for colleagues who identify as LGBT Plus, and is involved in events for non-LGBT colleagues which aim to raise awareness of the issues affecting the LGBT Plus community. LGBT Plus is also working with the Harassment and HARC adviser teams to provide support and advice to staff who experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic incidents. The network wishes to encourage a working environment where LGBT+ colleagues and PGR students can feel safe and confident to be themselves and perform to the best of their ability within the organisation. If you want to speak to a network member about a confidential issue please contact the network co-chairs.

Our activities contribute to Reading's ambition to embed equality and diversity across the University and we are fully supported by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Parveen Yaqoob who is the University's Champion for sexual orientation and gender identity. We welcome suggestions at any time for LGBT Plus events and activities. 

​Become an LGBT Plus Ally

LGBT ally postcardOne of our most popular initiatives is developing a network of allies across the University. An LGBT Plus Ally is someone who doesn't identify as LGBT+ and believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should experience full equality, or indeed someone who identities as L, G, B, T, or + and is an ally to others across the LGBT+ spectrum.





To learn more about the LGBT Plus Network, please read our terms of reference.

If you would like to join LGBT Plus, have any ideas or enquiries, then please contact the network co-chairs 

Alina Tryfonidou and Allan Laville.

If you could like to become an LGBT Plus Ally or would like to seek advice, then please contact our Lead Ally, Gemma Fitz.

You can also keep in touch with us by:

race equity and cultural diversity network 

Following a number of focus groups with BAME staff, we launched our Race Equity and Cultural Diversity Network in December 2016.

This is a group for anyone interested in issues around race, ethnicity and culture and how they might affect staff and students.

We are organising a number of seminars, networking events and online discussions.

For more information please email Professor Simon Chandler-Wilde.

Women@Reading network

The Women@Reading staff network champions issues of gender equality across the University.

Working with University leadership and supported by People Development in HR, the network aims to:

  • move towards achieving gender balance in all staff groups
  • achieve parity among academic staff (including the professoriate) and in all leadership roles
  • work towards equality of opportunity and pay in all areas, and have committees that are gender balanced.

The Women@Reading network is co-ordinated by a small committee that provides direction, builds awareness, organises events and communicates with University leadership, primarily through the Deans for Diversity and Inclusion and the UEB gender champion. The committee is chaired by Dr Claire Collins, an Associate Professor in Henley Business School.

All Women@Reading events are open to all staff. They are advertised on the Staff Portal and in In Brief, and are bookable on UoR Learn.  To find out more information or to join the network's email distribution list, contact Lynn Moore.  


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