Students Staff
University of Essex

August 6, 2015

‘Straight Allies’

Filed under: Networking & Collaboration — Tags: , , , , , , — Karen Bush @ 9:30 am

‘Straight Allies’ programme at the University of Essex


Championing workplace equality doesn’t require special skills or attributes. Straight allies agree that the skills they use to advocate gay equality are the same skills they use every day in their jobs.

Will you join us?

The mission

According to Stonewall :  ‘Straight people have a critical role to play in creating gay-friendly workplaces.  Stonewall’s Top 100 employers routinely say that ‘straight allies’ have been key to advancing fair treatment of their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

Their involvement – often precisely because they’re not gay themselves – can have a transformative effect on the culture of an organisation and the workplace experience of staff, both gay and straight. It’s clear that across Britain the vast majority of employees want their workplaces to be gay-friendly’.

Being a ‘Straight Ally’ at the University of Essex means:

  • Getting to know the issues – making time to talk to gay colleagues, friends and family about their experiences as a gay person at work
  • Making it personal – talking about what you have learned with others – it can help them to understand why it’s important
  • Being yourself – reflecting your own personal values so others know championing gay equality isn’t something you’re doing because you have to, but because you want to
  • Asking for help – everyone worries about saying the wrong thing but by being open about your commitment to gay-equality, gay colleagues will feel more comfortable in answering your questions

Essex needs you!

I am hoping you will join our current team of ‘straight allies’ which includes myself, Karen Stephenson (Equality and Diversity), Mandy Borges Anslow, (Learning and Development), Teresa Warren (University Day Nursery) and Julia Greenwood (HR).

If you would like to be part of this initiative or if you would like more information, please email is a confidential email address.

Supporting LGBT

The Essex LGBT Alliance won the Advancing Staff Equality category in the Guardian University Awards 2015. Read more about the partnership in the latest edition of the Leadership Foundation Engage magazine.

If you need confidential support and advice on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues at work you can contact Equality and Diversity at This is a confidential email address. Please give a brief outline of your query and you will be directed to an experienced Essex LGBT Alliance member who can listen and support you.

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