Supporting and representing LGBT+ staff

 Do you want to make your workplace more LGBTQ+ inclusive? Here’s some advice on supporting both Spectrum and your colleagues. 


Internal and external resources and policies

Supporting our campaigns

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Making your workplace LGBTQ+ inclusive

In the context of the workplace, sexual orientation and gender identity are relevant considerations because all members of staff should be free to be themselves, to have welcoming colleagues, and to have a campus, policies and services that include them and that they can fairly access.

Preparing your Equality Impact Assessment

Your policy should clearly state how it is inclusive of LGBT+ people. If you’re preparing an Equality Impact Assessment following EDI’s guidance, also read through Spectrum's general advice below in advance. We welcome brief consultations either at our monthly meetings or by email. Get in touch with spectrum@lse.ac.uk.

Understanding minority groups

LSE's responsibility is to provide a campus and services that everyone can access fairly, however this does not mean that minority groups (those protected characteristics listed in the 2010 Equality Act) are not inherently disadvantaged and suffering. LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all other sexual orientation or gender identity minority groups e.g. intersex, asexual, pansexual, non-binary. The key message is that any individual's identity is valid and should be respected.

Quick checks

  • Do explicitly state if a benefit is relevant to LGBT+ people or same-sex partners, so that it is completely clear to the person reading the policy.
  • Language changes over time. The Equality Act uses the term 'gender reassignment'; however, we use 'gender identity'.
  • Do use the terms 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' rather than sex/sexuality/gender.
  • Do use gender neutral language, e.g. 'they/theirs/them' not 'he/she'. 
  • Do use 'spouse' or 'partner' rather than ‘husband/wife’.
  • Do refer to shared parental leave rather and adoption leave alongside maternity and paternity leave.
  • Refer to caring responsibilities as well as childcare responsibilities.
  • Using gender neutral toilets is not an accessibility issue, so if this facility is relevant to your policy do not solely link it to accessibility or disability services.
  • If you use monitoring questions, use the standard set provided by EDI.
  • See our Resources section.

Having your say – lobbying and consultation

Spectrum consults or lobbies on a variety of issues affecting LSE LGBTQ+ staff and students, working closely with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team in this area. We invite everyone who sees an issue to flag it with us if you would rather not raise it yourself. You can either use our confidential email service or come along to one of our meetings.

Here are some examples:

  • Addition of gender neutral titles, and no title options, on LSE systems
  • Use of ‘known as’ names rather than ‘first name’ on LSE systems
  • EDI policies such as the trans policy, sexual orientation policy, and Equality Impact Assessments for policies across the School
  • The Sophos web content filtering software blocks some LGBTQ+ websites because it incorrectly categorises them as adult or sexually explicit. If you find an LGBTQ+ website is blocked please contact it.servicedesk@lse.ac.uk, provide the URL and ask them to unblock it. You do not need to provide any further information. If you would rather ask anonymously then go through Spectrum.
  • Gender neutral signage toilets.

Getting involved with Spectrum

All staff are welcome to join Spectrum and for many it’s a great way to meet people across the School. You can make sure everyone feels welcome to get involved by:

  • Sending on copies of our email newsletter – sign up here
  • Having our posters and postcards in communal areas – email us for supplies
  • Displaying a plasma screen – available in portrait and landscape
  • Inviting Spectrum to speak about staff networks or being LGBT+ at work at your divisional or departmental meeting – email us to discuss your needs
  • Attending training courses.

Ways to get involved

  • Come along to meetings or events
  • Share your perspective, feedback and ideas
  • Volunteer to help out with events planning, communications and community engagement

Suggestions?

Do you have a suggestion for Spectrum? Please email spectrum@lse.ac.uk to let us know.

 

Andra Fry speaking at the 2016 LSE Athena SWAN conference

Spectrum Co-Chair Andra Fry speaking at the LSE-King's Athena SWAN conference, 2016