A message from Salford Proud: LGBTQ+ Allies Programme
Sep 07, 2018
While Salford Proud’s main goal is to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ identities and work towards creating an inclusive, open, and safe work environment for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and students, we are also aware of the importance of our allies, or “Friends of Salford Proud”, and their importance to achieving this goal.
Allyship is incredibly important when advancing policies and culture surrounding the inclusivity of minority identities, such as LGBTQ+ identities, and support from people who do not necessarily identify in the same way as an LGBTQ+ person does is vital to creating that more inclusive and safe culture.
The whole reason LGBTQ+ people are even considered a “minority identity” is because the number of people who are not LGBTQ+ is greater than the number of people who are LGBTQ+. This is also true at the University of Salford. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that our non-LGBTQ+ colleagues also get involved with fighting for better policy and culture for LGBTQ+ colleagues. Everyone deserves to feel safe and accepted at work, and for many LGBTQ+ colleagues this is not the reality. Stonewall reports that just under a fifth of lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers, or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years. Their research also shows that nearly half (42%) of trans and non-binary people are not living permanently as their true gender identity as they feel they are prevented from doing so because it might threaten their employment status. Stonewall also found that over 10% of trans people experienced verbal abuse at work, and 6% of those surveyed were physically assaulted at work. These figures come from UK studies in the last five years.
We can clearly see that more needs to be done in working towards safety, acceptance, and inclusivity in the work place for LGBTQ+ colleagues, and allies are so important to this. Allies should be using their voices to raise up LGBTQ+ people, as marginalised and minority groups often are ignored because our experiences as LGBTQ+ people are not as relatable or universal to non-LGBTQ+ people, and thus are often deemed not as important.
Therefore, we are calling upon all allies to join us and become a “Friend of Salford Proud”! Your voice as someone who is not marginalised in the same ways as LGBTQ+ people based on sexual or gender identity is an integral part in furthering the policies, procedures, and culture towards LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality.
There are a few steps in completing this programme and becoming a fully-fledged Friend of Salford Proud:
1. Sign up to Salford Proud as a Friend of Salford Proud using the link here: http://bit.ly/Proud_join
2. We want to see your pictures! Take a photo of yourself holding an LGBTQ+ positive/inclusive sign or message to share with the network
3. Attend an LGBTQ+ specific allies training session
4. Commit to sharing any newsletters or events with your team via staff notice boards or other networks
5. Attend at least one Salford Proud event in the next 12 months
6. Commit to include an LGBTQ+ action within your annual PDR review (members of the committee can help give you some ideas if you are stuck!)
7. Add you pronouns to your email signature – normalising seeing someone’s pronouns is a big step in improving acceptance of our trans an non-binary colleagues
8. Let people know you are a Friend of Salford Proud by adding it to your email signature too!
9. Commit to wearing one of our wonderful rainbow lanyards (contact the Salford Proud committee if you are unsure where to get one from)
We are also hoping to have Friends of Salford Proud from our Senior Management team to act as a “Friends of Salford Proud” ambassador, championing all of the above and speaking at annual “Friends of Salford Proud” allies events.
We hope that you understand how important your roles as allies is to the LGBTQ+ community. Without the acceptance and driving forward from allies as well as fellow LGBTQ+ people, we would not be able to feel truly included, safe, or accepted not only in the workplace, but also in society.
To find out more information, you can contact us via SalfordProud@salford.ac.uk
We look forward to welcoming you as Friends of Salford Proud!
The Salford Proud Team