LGBT+ Allies

The University has a growing network of LGBT+ Allies who have attended the LGBT+ Allies workshop. The workshop aims to give non-LGBT+ individuals an opportunity to explore what it means to be an ally, time to ask questions and practical advice on how they can be an effective ally. If you are interested in attending the workshop and becoming an Ally, please email: equality@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Dr Rebecca Surender

LGBT+ Ally

Dr Rebecca Surender

I am the University Advocate and Pro Vice-Chancellor 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.   

Vicki Stott

LGBT+ Ally

Vicki Stott

I am the Bursar of St Hugh’s College.  We are one of the larger colleges by student population, and employ a sizeable staff and academic body.  I wanted to be an ally because I feel passionately that we should all be able to be exactly whoever we are, no matter where we are.  I want our students to feel safe and supported, no matter how they identify, and I want our staff to feel that they are valued, no matter who they are.  St Hugh’s tries very hard to be an inclusive, welcoming and friendly environment and I wanted to send a loud message that equality and diversity are important, throughout the structure and community of the College.

Maria Granell Moreno

LGBT+ Ally

Maria Granell Moreno

I’m the Equality and Diversity advisor at NDORMS; also one of its Bullying and Harassment advisors and now a proud LGBT+ Ally. I am a huge believer that difference and diversity are a strength. Within my role and with my team we continuously work on developing and implementing initiatives which embrace, value and support staff and students at all levels. I joined the LGBT+ Allies community because I believe every human being should be able and free to be themselves in (and outside) the workplace.

LGBT+ Ally

Emily Dyer

As the Executive Assistant to the Director of Human Resources I come in to contact with a wide range of people every day. I am a firm believer that everyone should be treated with respect, understanding and empathy both in and out of the office. I have always been vocal about equality in my personal life but I realised that this support could be put to better use if I stood up and became a visible ally at work. It’s vital that our LGBT+ friends and colleagues know they have a safe place to go should they require support or understanding.

The Stonewall LGBT+ Allies course provided me with valuable tools and language as well as shining a light on the challenges faced by the LGBT+ community every day. The course included some shocking statistics and some invaluable exercises that helped me to understand what it might be like to feel that it is not safe to express who you are. This freedom of expression is something that many of us take for granted but that should be available to all, no exceptions!

LGBT+ Ally

Daisy Hung

I am the Equality and Diversity Facilitator in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division. Initially I was hired as an Athena SWAN Facilitator focused on gender equality, and I have actively worked to expand my role into other E&D strands such as race, LGBT+ and disability. I am an LGBT+ ally because it’s my personal and professional passion to help people feel that they belong and feel supported within their communities and in the workplace. I think it’s important to help enable others to have a voice and make change where they see it’s needed. I am on a continual journey to change and make improvements in our systems and structures, and with my own personal development.

Ryan Bird

LGBT+ Ally

Ryan Bird

I am Chief Executive of Oxford SU. I lead the staff team, manage the operations of the organisation and support the elected sabbatical officers to achieve their manifesto priorities. At Oxford SU we seek to develop a work environment where we treat all employees as individuals, fairly and in a consistent way. We want to be a sector leader in equality and diversity, working to the spirit and the practice of the Equality Act 2010 and wherever possible looking to go far beyond it. We recognise that being a diverse and inclusive employer helps us fulfil our responsibility to make a difference for the students of Oxford.

Every day I am inspired by our students, they are often the trailblazers when it comes to pushing forward the equality and diversity agenda. It is with this in mind that I decided to become and LGBT+ Ally - I am keen to support colleagues and students more and want to proactively ensure that the University of Oxford is a safe and welcoming space for all.

At the moment we are busy working with students to ensure we continue to learn and develop as an organisation. We are planning a range of staff development opportunities over the coming year that will explore equality and diversity and what it means for us.

LGBT+ Ally

Kirsty Allen

‘I am Head of Research Evaluation and Impact and REF Programme Manager in Research Services. I wanted to become an Ally in order to understand more about some of the challenges faced by the LGBT+ community in the workplace, and how I might be able to help colleagues to feel supported. At the excellent workshop Stonewall ran, the most striking lesson for me was when we were asked to have a conversation with someone else where gender and marital status could not be referred to: I found it revealing how hard I had to concentrate not to give this information, and I felt that it restricted my ability to build a rapport with my partner in the exercise. I also learned some surprising and sometimes upsetting statistics about how people in the LGBT+ community can feel unsafe or unsupported even in environments committed to equality and diversity. Since attending the workshop I have changed my approach to expressing my support for equality and diversity, sometimes through simple measures such as adding a line in my email signature or having a rainbow flag postcard by my desk; but also by ensuring that when I recruit or welcome someone to the team, I explain that this is an inclusive workplace and they can feel free to be themselves.’

LGBT+ Ally

Martha Buckley

Hi, I'm Martha, and I'm a Project Support Coordinator in the Humanities Division, working with research projects across the Faculties.  As a wheelchair user, I have had a long history of engagement with Disability rights, but coming to Oxford as a graduate student in 2012 opened my eyes to the challenges which can be faced by my LGBTQAI+ friends and colleagues.  I find it saddening that whilst University is a time that many people feel comfortable exploring their identity, including gender identity and sexuality, there is often a reluctance to carry this openness into the workplace.

I want to help to create an environment where everyone is free to be themselves, and I believe that freedom of expression is not just something which should occur outside of the office.  As a white cishet woman, I recognise that I have inherent privileges, and that disclosure can be a tricky area, but I hope that I can support my LGBTQIA+ colleagues with appropriate signposting, and I am always available for a chat over a cup of tea. I’m the one with the rainbow lanyard and ‘gender is a universe’ pinned over my desk…

LGBT+ Ally

Charlotte Smith

I have worked at the University of Oxford since 2004 and in an Athena SWAN role since 2014. The substantive part of my role focusses on gender equality; embedding and sharing best practice; provision and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to provide evidence for the Athena SWAN charter award. My Athena SWAN work is based in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, and I have another part-time role as a Project Manager for a BBSRC research project in the Department of Biochemistry. The Stonewall Allies training helped me understand and challenge my biases and assumptions, the training gave us guidance and tools to work towards providing an open and inclusive environment. Being a Stonewall Ally has also helped me provide visible support for colleagues and friends, I have an Allies poster above my desk and wear the University of Oxford rainbow lanyard.

LGBT+ Ally

Lorraine Laird

 In my role as PA to Head of Materials Department and Communications Officer I come into contact with a lot of people, both face-to-face and via social media and internal communications, so I leapt at the chance to attend a Stonewall ‘Allies’ training session during February 2017 to help me understand the many issues facing our LGBT+ friends and colleagues on a daily basis, and to try and do what I can to improve how I personally interact with people - and to a greater extent the language employed for internal and external communications - all with the aim of helping everyone enjoy equality in the department.

Coming from a commercial background (including working in large personnel department and also as a lawyer for many years) I have a long and strong history of equalities training, but unfortunately in the past I have also had to deal with cases of prejudice and bullying in its many forms. Since joining the University, and in particular the Department of Materials in 2012, I have been delighted to witness how welcoming the University is to everyone without exception, and how it constantly strives to identify areas of inequality and seeks to redress the balance.

LGBT+ Ally

Gillian Morris

I'm an ally

Why wouldn’t I be?

I have some amazing colleagues in Medical Sciences and beyond, some of those great colleagues just happen to be LGBTQ+.

I want to support them. 

I am an ally.

I want people who come to work here to know that they will be welcomed and treated well throughout their career.  Being LGBTQ+ should have no bearing on how you are treated in the workplace.

Gillian is the Assistant Registrar (Human Resources), in Medical Sciences Division

LGBT+ Ally

Eve Rodgers

I work as Head of Administration & Finance at the Department of Education in Oxford.   We have an inclusive and open environment in the department and the University takes its equality responsibilities seriously,  but there is always more that can be done to ensure that all colleagues and students feel included and that they can be themselves whether working or studying.  So when an invitation went out to attend an LGBT+ Allies workshop and become an LGBT+ Ally, I was keen to take part.  I know from LGBT+ relatives and friends that coming out isn’t something that is done once, it’s a continuing process and anything more we can do to make the workplace somewhere where people can truly be themselves, is important.  The training workshop was excellent and informative, and challenged assumptions about gender and sexual orientation. Some of the statistics we were given show that there is still more to be done to ensure equality. For example, it was concerning to learn that one in four LGB people are not at all open about their sexual orientation at work, that nearly two thirds of graduates go back into the closet when they enter the job market, and that one third of trans respondents have experienced at least one form of bullying or harassment on their campus. We were encouraged to do small things that signal that Oxford is an LGBT+ welcoming environment, so the first thing I did after the workshop was to put an LBGT+ flag postcard on every notice board in the department.  Small actions make a difference!

LGBT+ Ally

Professor Helen Byrne

Mathematical Institute

LGBT+ Ally

Penelope Lane

Jenner Institute