Imperial College London: Imperial is one of Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for LGBTQ+ people

The College has been recognised by Stonewall for its commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace.

Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers List recognises organisations for their actions and commitment to creating welcoming environments for their lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer staff. Organisations are ranked by a set of standardised criteria, which includes ensuring HR policies are inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, as well as supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+ identities at work.

In addition to featuring in the Top 100 Employers List, Imperial has also been recognised with a Gold Award for its commitment and efforts to become an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer.

Professor Stephen CurryProfessor Stephen Curry, Imperial’s Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Many people have been working hard over the past few years to make Imperial a more welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBTQ+ staff and students, and I am really pleased to see this work recognised.”

According to Stonewall’s research, more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff hide who they are at work, while one in five have been the target of negative comments because they’re LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ refers to lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people.

Simon LeveyImperial 600 is the College’s network for LGBTQ+ staff, postgraduate students and their allies. Simon Levey, who co-Chairs the network, said: “I know from speaking to our members how important it is for LGBTQ+ staff to be able to bring their whole selves to work. We are able to live and work to our best potential when we see others like us, have a community of people who understand our struggles, and have confidence that decisions are made at senior levels that acknowledge and support our needs – ideally by involving people like us.

“At Imperial 600 we want to make sure we are representing everyone in the LBGTQ+ community at the College. Everything we do is thanks to a small group of volunteers who give something back to that community. We invite anybody with inclusive and intersectional ideas to contribute to our events and activities.”

Making Imperial more inclusive
This year, Imperial was placed in 96th place out of 403 employers– a significant improvement compared to the last rankings in 2020 when Imperial was ranked 142 out of 503 employers.

Imperial has introduced a number of additional resources and support during this period, including:

The Equality, diversity and inclusion at Imperial online course was revamped in October 2020 to include more relevant and up-to-date LGBTQ+ content, and is now one of the mandatory training courses for all staff.
The College’s reverse mentoring scheme, which includes LGBTQ+ mentors, piloted in 2019-2020 and is now on its second cohort. The scheme aims to support senior leadership in learning more about the experiences of Imperial’s diverse community.
New LGBTQ+ equality resources were launched which include information on how to be an LGBTQ+ ally, how to be a bi ally, and how to be a trans and non-binary ally.
In autumn 2021 Imperial launched Report and Support ­­– a new online tool for staff and students to disclose any experiences of bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct or violence, or discrimination they may be experiencing at the College. This includes discrimination related to an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
The trans staff policy and guidance was updated in October 2020 and the Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students policy and guidance was published in summer 2021.
Many intersectional events have been organised by Imperial 600 over the past couple of years, some jointly with Imperial As One, including From Stonewall to Black Lives Matter: Examining the Impact of Protests, Getting Uncomfortable: Diverse priorities, and continuing challenges to D&I, and Pride Update: The Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS + Imperial’s Contributions.
Volunteer with Imperial 600
Imperial 600 is grateful to the community members who contribute their time and efforts to organising individual activities and is actively seeking new volunteers according to its 2021-24 Strategy [doc]. Please contact us if you would like to get involved.

If you have an idea for a future programme, event or activity, particularly with an inclusive or intersectional angle, that could take place in Mental Health Awareness Week (May) or Pride Month (June), enter your ideas in the suggestion box.

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