Diversity and equality networks
Our diversity networks help to support and promote diversity and inclusion at Reading.
- BAME Network
- LGBT Plus Network
- Parent and Family Network
- Staff Disability Network
- Women's Springboard_Network
If you are interested in starting a new network, contact our Diversity and Inclusion Dean.
We are network of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues and allies at the University with a focus on:
- providing a supportive space for BAME colleagues to engage with one another
- supporting BAME career progression through targeted communications and programmes
- championing increased BAME representation on key University committees
- supporting the transition of new BAME colleagues into the University
- supporting BAME researchers during their research and work at the University
- contributing to the creation of a culturally inclusive University
Our co-chairs are Bolanle Adebola (School of Law) and Santosh Sinha (Marketing, Communication & Engagement).
If you are a BAME colleague interested in joining the network, please sign up through Microsoft Teams.
Launched in 2014, LGBT Plus is an inclusive staff support network for individuals identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and/or: other sexual and gender identities, such as asexual, non-binary, intersex or any others. This includes LGBT+ people with multiple identities and covers all staff and PGR students based anywhere in the UK or Malaysia. The Network is supported by LGBT Plus Allies who are led by Gemma Fitz.
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 Ruvi Ziegler, works closely with the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisors.
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. The Network is inclusive of people with multiple identities and works with other staff diversity networks to collaborate on areas such as gender, race and disability.
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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor and 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
One 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.
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:
- Following the Microsoft Teams group link
- Signing up to our mailing list
- Liking us on Facebook
- Following us on Twitter
- Reading and bookmarking our blog
The Parent and Family Network was set up in 2019 by two colleagues who recognised the importance of peer support and informal information networks when they returned to work following maternity leave. It is intended to be a source of information-sharing and support for any colleagues who are parents or have any other form of caring responsibility for children or young people.
We hold regular events with invited speakers where you can connect with other members of the Network and listen to talks on relevant topics, such as encouraging healthy eating in young children; balancing home schooling and home working; and identifying and managing childhood anxiety.
We also have an active online community on Teams where you can ask questions, share resources and even advertise items to sell/give away.
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, co-chaired by Yota Dimitriadi (0118 378 2688), work closely with the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Allan Laville. For more information and to join the group please contact email@example.com.
The Women@Reading staff network champions issues of gender equality across the University.
Working with University leadership the Network aims to:
hold the University to account for its gender objectives by championing gender parity amongst academic and professional service staff, including the professoriate and in leadership roles
champion and create equal gender representation on decision making Committees
champion and create gender equality of opportunity and pay in all areas and types of roles at the University
provide a supportive space for women to engage with one another
support women's career progression and development through targeted communications and programmes
develop and support a network of Gender Allies to work with the Network in championing and promoting gender equality across the University and speaking up when they witness discriminatory behaviour or language
contribute to creating a diverse and inclusive University
Our co-chair is Rachel Thorns (Human Resources).
The Women@Reading Network is co-ordinated by a small Steering Group which provides direction, builds awareness, organises events and provides a voice for all women, and those who identify themselves as women, working at the University. The Co-Chairs have regular access to University leadership to raise topics of interest affecting our members and to propose action primarily via the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, the University Equality and Diversity Board and the UEB gender champion.
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.
If you are interested in joining the Network, please sign up through Microsoft Teams.
For general enquiries about the Network and/or if you would like to support our work as an Ally, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can respond to your query and/or share some resources with you to get you started on your Gender Ally journey.
Women's Springboard Network
The Women's Springboard Network was set up in November 2019 by Cohort 12, who attended the Women's Springboard Programme from April-July 2019. We were very keen to maintain the momentum of the programme and have been meeting on a termly basis to continue our learning and to network with each other. The Network has recently grown in size to around 100 women across the University, as we extended the membership to include all colleagues who have undertaken the Springboard Programme in previous years. Our aim is to also invite future 'Springboarders'.
The Network aims to:
- Give an opportunity for members to reinforce their learning of the key principles of the Springboard programme and continue their personal and professional development
- Provide a network of peer support from colleagues across different roles and sectors of the University
- Hear from inspirational guest speakers about their career and the progression to their current role
- Discuss new topics relevant to the programme
- Give members of the group a chance to share personal and professional successes and achievements
- Share a range of useful resources such as articles, books, podcasts and TED talks
We have received Diversity and Inclusion funding to help support our meetings. Topics of meetings to date have included achievements and goals, presentation skills and developing resilience supported by the UoR People Development Team, external facilitators and guest speakers who have shared their stories. Going forward we aim to hold a combination of online and face to face meetings.
The Women's Springboard Network, is facilitated by Julie Farwell, supported by Tracy McAuley and Rachel Franklin. For more information and to join the group, please contact Springboardnetwork@reading.ac.uk.
We also regularly communicate and share information on our Teams Link.