I am Pro Vice-Chancellor and the University Advocate for Equality and Diversity at Oxford and my role is to ensure that our mission statement – that we appreciate and value difference in order to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading universities – becomes fully embedded and operationalized at all levels of our university. I was therefore delighted to accept the recent invitation to attend an LGBT+ Allies workshop and become an LGBT+ Ally. The course was extremely helpful and skillful in getting us to better understand the challenges that may be faced by LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace, and empowering us with practical ideas about how to be more aware and supportive.
The workshop attracted a wide range of academic and professional/support colleagues from across the institution and despite the seriousness of the topic - was wonderfully positive and upbeat. There was plenty of time for discussion, reflection and questions throughout the morning and the material was both informative and motivating. In particular, I appreciated the fact that participants came with a range of different motivations and levels of engagement and there were no assumptions or requirements about familiarity with issues, activity or vocabulary.
This is a really excellent workshop for everyone who wants to contribute to making our work place a truly affirming and supportive one for all members - and I would encourage everyone to attend.
If you are interested in attending the workshop and becoming an Ally, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org