I will soon be reading through our submission to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. The submission allows us to measure our commitment to LGBT equality and to assess where we need to focus in order to reinforce our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
The work we do in this area has really struck a chord with me lately, even more so than usual. Many of you will have seen the distressing news from America where Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets that he would bar transgender people from serving openly in the United States military. Last year we celebrated the contribution of trans people in the military in this country by giving an honorary fellowship to Captain Hannah Winterbourne, Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier. Hannah is a fantastic role model and her service is worth no less than anyone else.
Anyone who knows me will know I’m a huge football fan, so I watched with sadness and shed a tear at the football documentary that Gareth Thomas presented, ‘Hate in the Beautiful Game’. Gareth talks in the documentary about how he was alarmed by the normalisation of hostile homophobic words. I feel strongly that people in any role will perform better if they can be themselves at work and careless, hostile words are still a big factor in preventing this. All of this has taken place around the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales and is a reminder of all of the work that is still to be done across the UK and globally.
Our participation in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index may seem like another box ticking exercise but it is far, far more than that. It is a visible statement to our prospective and current staff and students that LGBT equality matters at Cardiff and we won’t tolerate homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. We continue to work hard to ensure all of our policies and practices are inclusive and welcome feedback on how we can improve this; we are currently make changes to our Trans and Gender Identity policy to reflect this commitment.
When I think about our equality, diversity and inclusion work I’m reminded of the importance of allies; if we all stand together we are much more powerful and a more significant catalyst for change. Our staff LGBT+ network Enfys have an allies group you can join called ‘Friend of Enfys’, I’d encourage everyone to get involved, be part of creating an environment where our LGBT+ colleagues can be proud to be themselves, whether that be on the sporting field, the work environment or any form of public service.