The University of Birmingham Rainbow Network aims to provide a space for staff and PhD students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning, as well as friends and allies of these communities, to meet and develop contacts across the University. With the support of the Equality and Diversity team, the Rainbow Network committee organises a series of interesting and enjoyable events and activities throughout the year, and works with groups in the wider community to increase awareness and visibility of LGBTQ people.
We are an informal point of contact for workplace issues relating to being LGBTQ, such as bullying and harassment. A committee member will confidentially signpost people experiencing these issues to specific services available within the University and the wider community (such as Wellbeing Services). We can also provide confidential support to any member of staff requiring information about LGBTQ identities and issues, as well as advice and consultancy to any department or member of staff wanting an LGBTQ perspective for a particular project or activity.
Our Terms of Reference contain a clause affirming our commitment to taking an intersectional approach to LGBT issues. This means that we will provide support and representation for all LGBT staff at the University, regardless of their gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, socioeconomic background, or any other characteristic. We also seek to understand how intersectional identities shape the experiences of our colleagues, and use this to influence the services that we provide to them as a network e.g. organising bi-monthly non-alcoholic socials for network members who cannot or choose not to consume alcohol. We maintain close relationships with the other staff networks at the University to work on shared issues and receive guidance on how to make our events and services as inclusive and accessible as possible.
Feel free to email the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions, concerns, or to ask to be added to our mailing list. Click here for a list of committee members and roles, and read our Terms of Reference here. We offer a service where new members of the network can have an informal 1:1 meeting with a committee member to find out more about what the network does, and to make sure that you have someone you recognise at any future events you may want to attend - get in touch if you would be interested in this.
We are proud to have been named Stonewall's West Midlands Network Group of the Year in 2018.