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Diversity and equality networks – University of Reading

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Diversity and equality networks

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

If you are interested in starting a new network, contact our Diversity and Inclusion Dean.

BAME network

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.

If you want to support our work as an Ally, please write to us at We have also put together some resources to get you started on your BAME Ally journey.

LGBT Plus network

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

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 Ruvi Ziegler.

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:


Parent and family network

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.

To join the Network please email the Co-Chairs, Ellen McManus-Fry, ( and Lindsey Keys, ( 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) and Ranjita Dhital (0118 378 4737), work closely with the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Allan Laville. For more information and to join the group please contact

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 Professor Claire Collins, Henley Business School and Rachel Thorns, HR Partner.

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


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