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National Day of Staff Networks

National Day of Staff Networks

Wednesday 13 May marks The National Day for Staff Networks – a day to celebrate the work of our staff networks and the vital role they play in enhancing our University community.   

The theme for this year is “adding value” – a theme that our networks go above and beyond in their missions to drive forward equality.  

Networks at the University

We currently have five networks helping to support and promote diversity and inclusion at the University. All are welcome to join, whether you share a characteristic represented by one of the groups or want to show support as an ally.

This year introduces cross-collaboration across our networks, and there are already a few exciting projects in the pipeline – we’re looking forward to sharing details as soon as we can. All networks are personally supported by Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Allan Laville.

Here is a summary of our networks, including details of how to join and upcoming activities.

BAME Network

Our newest network, supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues at the University. It provides a safe space for BAME colleagues to engage with one another, support personal development and build an inclusive environment.

The Network is actively working on four key priorities:

 

  • Raise awareness of race issues at the University, including the launch of effective harassment protocol.
  • Improve integration and visibility, especially in decision-making.
  • Transparency in workload allocation, including models of equal treatment of all.
  • Equality in promotion and reward schemes.

 

An inaugural Meet and Greet event took place in February, and the Network aims to hold coffee mornings and topical discussions over the coming months.

To join or to keep up with news, please sign up through Microsoft Teams or by emailing bame.network@reading.ac.uk.  

Staff Disability Network

Our inclusive support network exploring disability, impairment and/or mental health conditions.

After identifying a range of plans for 2020, the Network are making progress on three key targets for the academic year:

 

  • Disability Passport, a record of agreed workplace adjustments for better transparency. 
  • Line Management training on disability awareness
  • The Disability Confidence Employer scheme  

 

In March, the Network held a virtual coffee morning exploring the theme of disclosure and hidden disability – the event itself being the very first ‘official’ University event to take place online after campus operations were scaled back in light of COVID-19. Further events are planned for the coming months, so keep checking back for updates.

To join or to keep up with news, please visit Microsoft Teams or email staffdisability@reading.ac.uk.

LGBT Plus Staff Network

One of our oldest networks, LGBT Plus supports individuals identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, as well as other sexual and gender identities.

Following the appointment of Co-Chair Allan Laville to Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, the Network welcomed Ruvi Ziegler as their new Co-Chair back in February. Earlier this year, the University was ranked among the Top 100 Employers by Stonewall Workplace Equality Index – for the second consecutive year.

One exciting plan the Network are investigating is an LGBT + reverse mentoring scheme, which is also strongly encouraged by Stonewall. Details of this will be shared when more information is available.

The Network has also taken to Microsoft Teams for recent events, including Steering Committee meetings and social events.   

You can join through Microsoft Teams, or keep in touch through the various ways listed on our Diversity & Inclusion page.

Women@Reading Network

The Women@Reading network champions issues of gender equality across the University. It is open to all, regardless of gender, and welcomes allies and equality champions. The network is chaired by Claire Collins.

Colleagues from the network supported our Athena SWAN submission – which resulted in an Athena SWAN Silver Award, earlier this year.

The Network has held various topical events over the past few months and has been working behind the scenes to expand its reach. It typically holds two events each term, with the most recent one held in celebration of International Women’s Day. Two events have been planned for the autumn term, and details will be shared a little closer to the time, given our current working situation. 

To join the Network, please contact Emma Broomfield.

Parent and Family Network

Still relatively new, the Network provides support and resources for parents and parents-to-be.

With over 200 members, the Network’s Microsoft Teams site has become something of a haven for parents working through the COVID-19 pandemic, with members sharing advice and resources on everything from coping strategies to educational resources.

Among the Network’s priorities for the year include:

 

  • Designated Parents’ Rooms, available for breastfeeding mothers to express milk or feed children in privacy.
  • Dedicated Parent and Family Network webpages, providing information and resources on parental leave and family-friendly facilities on campus.
  • Collaborative project with LGBT+ Network highlighting experiences of LGBT parents and children.

To join the Network, sign up in Microsoft Teams or email Nicola Hall or Ellen McManus-Fry.

 

More information

To find out more about our staff networks, including how to suggest a new one,  visit our Diversity and Equality Networks page.

If you are a member of a network and would like to share a story, please contact communications@reading.ac.uk.

A huge thank you to our Networks for their amazing work and commitment. Thank you for challenging us, enlightening us and driving us to become a better university.

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