Stonewall is Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality, working to create a world where every single person can be accepted without exception.
It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign and lobby government to change laws to ensure everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves. In 2003, they were granted charitable status, and have become renowned for their campaigning, helping to enable same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, and ensuring that lesbian, gay and bi people are protected in the Equality Act. In 2015, Stonewall extended its remit to become trans-inclusive, after consultation with over 700 trans people.
Each year, Stonewall run the Workplace Equality Index, which benchmarks participating employers from all sectors as to their progress in LGBT equality. This annual audit celebrates the efforts of leading organisations, to create an inclusive workplace.
DMU has risen in the index consistently since the university began entering. In 2017, DMU rose 19 places to 39th in the index. More than 430 employers submitted entries to Stonewall’s 2017 audit, putting DMU well within the top 10 per cent of applicants for the first time. DMU was the third highest placed university and finished above business giants such as HSBC and BP as well as The Army.
DMU’s staff LGBTQ and Allies Network, was also highly commended by Stonewall for the support it provides.
An image from the DMU Pride event
Prof Shellard said: “DMU entered the Stonewall Top 100 for the first time two years ago and I am proud of the fact that, in 2017, we now stand in the top 10 per cent of all UK workplaces for the inclusive environment we create and promote. This is a wonderful tribute to, and worthy recognition of, the pioneering spirit of our students and staff who go out of their way to ensure that everyone feels they can be who they want to be, freely and without prejudice.”
Highlights of DMU’s work during 2016 included:
- Launching the DMUfreedom campaign, which cultivates an environment in which staff, students and partners have the freedom to be, freedom to inspire and freedom to succeed
- Holding the annual #DMUpride festival
- Launching a Centre for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) Research, which conducts internationally recognised and pioneering research into LGBTQ issues
- Signing a partnership with the Leicester LGBT Centre to help the fight against prejudice and discrimination in the wider community.
- Signing up to the #NoBystanders campaign to fight bullying and sending LGBT students into schools to help empower those fighting homophobia
- Taking LGBT students on an inspirational trip to New York Pride through the #DMUglobal scheme
- Organising a show of strength among DMU sports teams who wore rainbow laces and #DMUpride t-shirts to their fixtures against other universities
- Working with Stonewall to bring Russian students over to DMU to experience LGBT life in another city and country.
In 2016, Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, also shared his experiences as a gay academic in The Times Higher Education magazine in May and has said one of his many missions is to make students and staff more comfortable about coming out.
Stonewall works in partnership with a growing network of more than 700 organisations to help create real change for the better. It campaigns to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in communities, and empowers LGBT people and their allies to be role models wherever they live, work, shop, socialise or pray. Find out more about Stonewall.
Sign up to DMU’s #NoBystanders campaign.