Information on the terms of reference for, and and members of, the LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (LEAG)
The UCL Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Equalities and Advisory Group (UCL LEAG) has its origins in a staff network set up in 2009. That network, Out@UCL was established to allow staff who identified as LGBTQ+ to meet others within the UCL community with an aim to make LGBTQ+ equality a reality at UCL.
A formalised steering committee; UCL's LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group is open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer staff and those interested in promoting LGBTQ+ equality at UCL. LEAG steers the Out@UCL network of around 600 LGBTQ+ staff and supporters, as well as championing LGBTQ+ equalities within the university more broadly. More information about us www.ucl.ac.uk/lgbt
UCL has previously been awarded a top 100 national ranking place by Stonewall for its support of LGBTQ+ staff and this includes the efforts of OUT@UCL members in increasing visibility, understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and supporter actions for staff equality. These have included direct SMT support for UCL’s presence at London, Black and Trans pride annual events as well as being an advisory resource for policies affecting LGBTQ+ staff and their families.
The Group is an advisory body that will
- Promote positive attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people and raise the profile of LGBTQ+ equality across the university
- Promote recognition and awareness of discrimination facing LGBTQ+ staff and address any inequalities locally and internationally
- Ensure issues of sexual orientation and gender identity are integrated into the UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and report on progress to the UCL Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDC) and other relevant UCL committees and groups, as necessary
- Consider the impact of legislation on UCL policies, procedures and practices as they relate to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, both in the UK and internationally
- Identify any employment issues, policies, or practices that adversely affect LGBTQ+ staff and highlight to relevant bodies
- Liaise with other universities with a view to sharing resources and/or ideas regarding issues of sexual orientation and gender identity
- Act as an advisory body to UCL on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and work with UCL to promote best practice for supporting LGBTQ+ staff and students working internationally.
Members of LEAG are happy to speak to members of the UCL community who would like informal advice or support.
LEAG statement in support of LGBTQ+ staff and students at UCL
LEAG strongly believes that addressing the current epidemic of violence, bullying, harassment and discrimination based on gender identity has to be a top priority at UCL. We have prepared the statement below to contextualise and strongly affirm the need for support of LGBQ+ and Trans staff and students encountering challenges at work and in their studies due to their gender identity.
Over 40% of UCL LGBTQ+ staff respondents in UCL’s Staff Survey 2017 stated that they were not completely able to talk about themselves openly or to be out at work. It is vital that all staff and students can be themselves while working and studying at UCL.
Universities have a duty both to protect the dignity, wellbeing and safety of staff and students and to ensure freedom of academic expression.
Discharging these two duties can be challenging. In particular, the right to free academic expression should never be used to justify denying the right of an individual to determine and express their own gender identity, or for refusing to refer to an individual by this identity. Universities have an obligation to provide staff and students with a safe environment where their identities, and the way they express them (e.g. through use of particular pronouns), are acknowledged and respected without any limitation based on academic freedom.
Society in general, and universities in particular, are working out what approaches are best, and where the legal framework in the UK is in flux and only covers a sub-set of issues. We feel we have a responsibility to address these challenges in an environment free from abuse, threats or acts of violence.
This statement was agreed by LEAG collectively, and is not necessarily attributable to individual LEAG members.
(LEAG is the LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group at UCL. It steers the Out@UCL network of around 600 LGBTQ+ staff and supporters, as well as championing LGBTQ+ equalities within the university more broadly. More information:www.ucl.ac.uk/lgbt)
Full Terms of Reference
For more information about membership and expectations of members, the group activities, the responsibilities of the co-chairs and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team in supporting the group, please see the document below.
Find out about the LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group members