The University of Birmingham Rainbow Network is a volunteer-led group of approximately 250 people which aims to represent staff and PhD students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, or questioning, to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs are met by 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 also organise social events to help our members to network and develop contacts across the University.
The Rainbow Network committee is 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 LGBTQ+ issues. This means that we will provide support and representation for all LGBTQ+ staff and PhD students at the University, regardless of their gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, socioeconomic background, or any other characteristic. We also aim to support people with underrepresented LGBTQ+ identities, including asexual, intersex, nonbinary, and pansexual.
In addition to this, we 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. There is more information about what we do for members at our "information for new members" webpage.
We are proud to have been named Stonewall's West Midlands Network Group of the Year in 2018 and 2019.