#equalatwork

Well, this is a very easy blog post to write. Last night, I attended the Stonewall Cymru Workplace Equality Index Awards in Cardiff. It was a glittering event with many of the movers and shakers in equality in attendance. I was there with my co-chair of the Swansea University LGBT+ Staff Network, Cath Elms, and other members of the Equalities Team from Swansea University.

We were already aware that we had been awarded Highly Commended Staff Network of the Year at the National Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which meant we could add a special banner to our emails. We had also learned we had climbed five more places in the Workplace Equality Index, which makes Swansea University one of the top employers in Wales for LGBT+ equality.

Imagine our surprise as the host announced we had won the Stonewalll Cymru staff network of the year award!

We hurried up to receive it, completely shocked, and Cath and I quickly agreed who would speak, as everyone was giving acceptance speeches, just like the Oscars. I can’t even remember what I said now, but I know I made sure to thank the Equalities Team and the Network, and to emphasise how much Cath and I do to lead the Network with, as yet, very few resources. I know I concluded with saying that this award means we can now do more.

That is how we feel about it. We are delighted to have won, and in particular, I am very glad to see my co-chair get some recognition of her work and input (and I feel happy to have that recognition too). We both put a lot of our own time and energy into this and we ask for nothing more than the feeling that we are making the world a better place. We don’t do this for the glory, we do it because it matters, but it is very nice indeed to win an award and once again put Swansea University firmly on the map as an inclusive employer and a great place to work and study.

I also feel very proud of our Network and all that we achieve together.

It was a lovely evening. We just kept smiling and grinning and congratulating each other, and other people came up to congratulate us, and it was a shining moment in what are very dark times politically. I smiled all the way home.

It is just starting to sink in what this means for us, the Network, the University, and our future goals. It is something that will help us to share our message, involve more network members and Allies, and to do more and more to push forward equality for all.

So, thank you Stonewall Cymru, you have made us very happy.

We can do more. We will do more. We will make this world a better place, one step at a time.

 

By Dr Alys Einion, co-chair of the Swansea University LGBT+ Staff Network

 

February 4th, 2017

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