Aber Enfys Allies

Thank you for making a visible effort to make Aberystwyth University an LGBT + friendly workplace. If you would like to join the allies network then please email Ruth Fowler, LGBT Network Coordinator on ruf@aber.ac.uk

 

What is an ally?

A straight ally can merely be someone who is supportive and accepts the LGBT person, or a straight ally can be someone who personally advocates for equal rights and fair treatment.

Allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices of the LGBT movement. Not only do allies help people in the coming-out process, they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect.

Actions you can take to be effective allies:

  • Be a listener.
  • Be open-minded.
  • Be willing to talk.
  • Don't assume that all your friends and co-workers are straight. Someone close to you could be looking for support in their coming-out process. Not making assumptions will give them the space they need.
  • Anti-LGBT comments and jokes are harmful. Let your friends, family and co-workers know that you find them offensive.
  • Confront your own prejudices and bias, even if it is uncomfortable to do so.
  • Defend your LGBT friends against discrimination.
  • Believe that all people, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect.

Discrimination againgst LGBT people:

Direct discrimination

This happens when someone treats you worse than another person in a similar situation because of your sexual orientation.

  • For example, at a job interview, a woman makes a reference to her girlfriend. The employer decides not to offer her the job, even though she is the best candidate they have interviewed.
  • For example, a hotel owner refuses to provide a double bedroom to two men. 

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination happens when an organisation has a particular policy or way of working that applies to everyone but which puts people of your sexual orientation at a disadvantage. 

Indirect discrimination can be permitted if the organisation or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the policy. This is known as objective justification.

Harassment

Harassment in the workplace occurs when someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded.

  • For example colleagues keep greeting a male worker by the feminine version of his name although he has asked them to use his proper name. The colleagues say this is just banter but the worker is upset and offended by it.

Harassment can never be justified. However, if an organisation or employer can show it did everything it could to prevent people who work for it from behaving like that, you will not be able to make a claim for harassment against it, although you could make a claim against the harasser.

Outside the workplace, if you are harassed or receive offensive treatment because of your sexual orientation, this may be direct discrimination.

Victimisation

This is when you are treated badly because you have made a complaint of sexual orientation related discrimination under the Equality Act. It can also occur if you are supporting someone who has made a complaint of sexual orientation related discrimination under the Act. 

  • For example a gay worker complains that he has been 'outed' by his manager against his wishes and his employer sacks him.

Resources to find out more:

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/sites/default/files/straight_allies.pdf

 

Mentors

Within the Allies Network there are individuals that have put their names forward to be Mentors. These mentors are here as an open point of contact for LGBT staff to contact for a different voice. Their role is to listen and provide one to one support if requested.

  • Jonny Davies – Academic Operations Assistant, IAH – jhd11@aber.ac.uk
  • Helen Mai Davies – Human Resources Assistant (Systems) – hmd7@aber.ac.uk
  • Catherine O’Hanlon – Exam Board Chair, Department of Psychology – cao15@aber.ac.uk
  • Gary Reed – Director of Research Business and Innovation – gar@aber.ac.uk
  • Rebecca Kularatne – HR Metrics and Workforce Planning Manager – rlk@aber.ac.uk

If you are interested in joining the mentoring scheme then please email Ruth Fowler ruf@aber.ac.uk