Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans(gender)+ (LGBT+) Equality at De Montfort University
De Montfort University (DMU) and its Students’ Union (DSU) are extremely proud of our diverse university community. We are committed to equality and diversity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) students and we believe we are better for having students and staff from different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures and who have diverse gender identity and sexuality. We are keen to support all students throughout their experience of studying at DMU. We can offer support to students who wish to discuss issues of sexual orientation and gender identity that may affect them personally, directly or indirectly.
We are committed to enhance the student experience of University life and as part of that commitment we have created the following pages where you will find information on the support and advice services provided by the University and the Students' Union as well as information about specific issues relevant to the lives of LGBT students.
Dignity - respect of sexual orientation and gender identity
At DMU the student experience is very significant and we aim to provide a welcoming and reassuring place for each and every student. The University’s student policy on dignity and respect outlines procedures and outlines how our students should behave appropriately, treating fellow students, staff and the local community with dignity, courtesy and respect at all times. The university’s student policy on student pregnancy, maternity, paternity and adoption leave can be seen here.
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.
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.
Each and every one of us – individuals and organisations – have a responsibility to make Britain a place where everyone feels able to be themselves. #NoBystanders is Stonewall's campaign to tackle bullying and abuse of LGBT individuals specifically, but through DMUfreedom, DMU are taking an active stance to stamp out bullying and harassment regardless. We are encouraging all staff, students and partners to sign up to the pledge, both at DMU, and at Stonewall.