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All-staff briefing: staff networks and #Togetherness

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The role of staff networks in supporting #Togetherness in our community was the theme of the all-staff session on Thursday 6 May.

Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort was joined by the Chairs/Co-Chairs of our five staff networks – Bolanle Adebola (BAME Staff Network), Ruvi Ziegler (LGBT+ Network), Ellen McManus-Fry (Parent & Family Network), Yota Dimitriadi (Staff Disability Network) and Claire Collins (Women@Reading) – to discuss their role in supporting colleagues during the pandemic and articulating their voices.

Wednesday 12 May is the National Day of Staff Network, a day that celebrates the work of staff networks in making work better for employees. This year’s theme is #Togetherness, calling staff networks through compassion, and by working together, learning together and sharing together means to make workplaces stronger, safer and smarter – together.

Introducing the session, Robert remarked that it was a good change to be asking questions rather than answering them. “These networks represent some of the best things that happen at the University, and how our community seeks to work with colleagues to get the best out of working at the University.”

He said the five networks – some relatively new, some more experienced – were all a wonderful embodiment of the 3Rs, being Responsible, Resourceful and Respectful. The 3Rs, colleagues may recall, was developed as part of the People Plan Board and incorporated in our strategy as a way of working.

“I would like us to be a place where we are resourceful enough to find some answers, be responsible enough to take control where we can and respectful of each other in the way we work together,” Robert said.

Robert’s conversation started with Ellen McManus-Fry about the survey her network had conducted on the impact of pandemic on those with childcare responsibilities. He spoke with Claire Collins about the impact of the pandemic on our women colleagues and Bolanle Adebola about her work on the Race Equality Review. Yota Dimitriadi spoke about the ongoing Disability and Neurodiversity and a survey her network has done of its members. Ruvi Ziegler spoke about the LGBT+ Network’s role in our University’s Top 100 ranking in the Stonewall Workplace Index.

A video of the session is available below for those colleagues who missed the session, or those who would like to see it again:


If you have trouble accessing the video, you can see it on Microsoft Streams.

The next all-staff session is on Wednesday 19 April and follows up on the conversation around pensions. It will feature HR Director John Brady and Finance Director Andrew Grice. All colleagues will be sent an Outlook Calendar invite ahead of the session. If you have any queries, please contact

Videos of recent all-staff sessions

Here are links to some of our other recent all-staff briefing sessions:

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