Credit: Cecilie Johnsen via Unsplash

UofG defends decision to refuse participation in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index

By Jeevan Farthing

The decision to not participate in the Equality Index mirrors decisions made by universities across the country, and has been defended by the Equality and Diversity Unit and Staff Network.

The University of Glasgow has decided to not participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index for 2022. This set of league tables, compiled by the largest LGBTQ+ rights organisation in Europe, measures employers in “eight areas of employment policy and practice”, with the aim of showing their comparative progress on LGBTQ+ equality. While Stonewall did not run the scheme in 2021 due to the logistical difficulties of the pandemic, the University of Glasgow did enter the Workplace Equality Index for 2020, though has not done so each year prior to this.

The University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University, and the University of the West of Scotland have also chosen not to take part this year. This is not the case for all Scottish universities though, with the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews affirming their participation in the scheme.

However, the Equality and Diversity Unit at the University of Glasgow tweeted to defend the decision not to participate in the scheme this year, with the support of the University’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network. They emphasised that this withdrawal from the Workplace Equality Index does not have the same effect as University College London’s decision to disaffiliate from Stonewall.

UCL justified their decision on the basis of a fundamental need to uphold academic freedom and freedom of speech in an academic context, recognising that a formal institutional commitment to Stonewall may have the effect of inhibiting academic work and discussion within UCL about sex and gender identity”. However, the University of Glasgow has not made any similar remarks, for now remaining affiliated to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The committee of the Glasgow University LGBTQ+ Society have issued a statement pertaining to this: “We feel The Times’ article was deliberately misleading in its representation of the University’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community on campus and of Stonewall as an LGBTQ+ charity. As the LGBTQ+ student society, we believe the decision not to fill out the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is not an accurate reflection of the University of Glasgow’s commitment to Stonewall nor LGBTQ+ inclusion in general.

The University tweeted on Friday that they “fully support our LGBT+ community”, regardless of their future participation in the Workplace Equality Index.


Share this story

Follow us online

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments