Skip to main content

Linder Pott (she/her)


Linder Pott is committed to supporting staff and students through her role as Assistant Director (HR Strategic Projects). She talks about her connections to the LGBTQ+ community, being an ally, and the work she does to embed inclusivity within Team Teesside.

Linder Pott

Why did you decide to become an LGBTQ+ ally?

For me it naturally happened in my life. My son is transgender so being there for him as his mother, I’ve seen first-hand how much it means to him to be comfortable in himself as he has been acknowledged and supported. I also know how difficult it was for him before coming out.

I have a number of friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and my sister is gay, so I’ve shared how their lives have been affected both inside and outside of work and the benefits they have found in being able to be open about themselves.

How have you been supported as an LGBTQ+ ally?

When I started working at the University, I had a daughter and now I have a son. Prior to and in the early days of Elliot’s transition, as he was working through things, he needed more support. My manager offered flexibility in my working hours to ensure that I could get to appointments and balance being a mum (and ally) with my role at the University. I’ve always felt comfortable to talk about my son with colleagues and it’s never been questioned that his name and pronouns have changed as the years have passed. It has been great for him to be able to join me at Pride events with the University and see that I work for an inclusive employer.

In 2020, I helped my friends Chris and Kevin (a same sex couple) become parents by carrying their baby as a surrogate. I feel lucky to work in an environment where I’ve never had to face awkward questions or criticism of my decision to help my friends become fathers. My colleagues at Teesside were positive and supportive during my pregnancy.

What do LGBTQ+ allies do?

Show support and consideration for LGBTQ+ people and be a listening ear when needed. In my day-to-day work I try to think inclusively about the projects and initiatives I’m working on, trying to remove possible barriers.

There are also some great events where you can demonstrate support by being visible as an ally; the trans day of remembrance, rainbow rounders and the Pride events have been fantastic.

Small differences that we make by, for example, asking someone’s pronouns, sharing ours, asking if they need any additional support and checking in with people can make a real, tangible difference to how they feel and that is going to have an impact on how they engage with the University.

What do you do to show your support for LGBTQ+ colleagues and students in your role?

Whilst at the University I’ve been involved in a lot of HR policy development activity. Showing support has included ensuring simple changes are made such as using gender neutral language in policies, creating guidance about sharing pronouns and developing the University Dignity at Work policy.

I’ve also had involvement in the Stonewall submission for the University, which demonstrates our approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion against an external benchmark. Teesside University has achieved silver status in this, and I’ve shared some of our best practice in LGBTQ+ inclusion with HR colleagues from other universities to help them to improve their practices.

Our team has won a Universities HR Award for our work in LGBTQ+ inclusion, which is a fantastic achievement, signifying the University’s outward commitment to fostering an inclusive Team Teesside environment.

Who can be an LGBTQ+ ally?

Anyone with an interest.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about becoming an LGBTQ+ ally?

One person’s situation can be so different from another so take time to understand what’s important to that individual in terms of support that will benefit them. Get involved in University events and activities and take time to engage with the equality, diversity and inclusion training opportunities and awareness sessions available.

Why does equality, diversity, and inclusion matter at Teesside University?

As a University, we play such a key role in supporting people to achieve their ambitions. We know that people get on better where they feel a sense of belonging and can be themselves at work or during their studies. Before I joined Teesside, I already knew about the reputation here for inclusion and it’s something that appealed to me as it aligns with my personal values. It’s fantastic that the University is highly regarded externally for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Go to top menu