History of the network
The network for LGBT staff was set up by the Equality and Welfare Unit of the Department of Human Resources following expressions of interest by staff. An invitation was initially circulated to all staff in early May 2007 by the Equality and Welfare Unit inviting those interested in LGBT issues to a brainstorming meeting on 21st May 2007. The aims of the meeting were to:
- Provide information on local LGBT support services;
- Increase the understanding of the Equality and Welfare Unit about the experience of LGBT staff in UCC and;
- Explore how the University could best respond to those experiences.
An independent facilitator was engaged to assist in achieving the aims of the meeting and three main outcomes were agreed by the participants following the provision of information on local supports and the exploration of experiences of being an LGBT member of staff in UCC. The outcomes were:
- The development of an LGBT staff network with a particular role around providing a consultation mechanism for the Equality Unit on issues in relation to LGBT;
- The implementation, through the Equality Unit – but with the support of the network – of a series of measures (ideas were forthcoming, but it was agreed that more discussion would be required) to implement a visibility campaign around the college and;
- Finally, members of the group agreed to participate in such a network and to encourage colleagues to participate.
These outcomes were approved by the Director of Human Resources on 24th May 2007 and the network held its first meeting on the 3rd July 2007 where the chairs were elected (there is a joint chair arrangement) and the terms of reference agreed. The network and it's website was officially launched and recognised by UCC in early 2008.
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The Network was founded in 2007 after an initial open consultation forum on Meeting the Needs of LGBT staff in UCC – a two page report on this forum was produced by the facilitator:
Terms of Reference
These Terms of Reference were approved at the AGM on 30th June 2008.
To work in partnership with management and staff of University College Cork to create a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment that encourages a culture of respect and equality for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, in order that every individual can reach their full potential without fear of discrimination.
- Act as a consultation forum on LGBT employment and welfare related issues for the Department of Human Resources, UCC;
- Provide a forum for networking, information sharing and peer support;
- Increase the visibility of the LGBT staff Network in UCC and engage in outreach activities and;
- Liaise with other groups, e.g., staff and student societies in other third level institutions in Ireland and abroad to share information and best practice.