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Flying the flag for LGBTQ+ inclusion

22 June 2023


As LGBTQ+ communities and allies across the world come together to celebrate Pride Month, Juliet Amos, Executive Director of Human Resources at Teesside University, reflects on the initiatives to help its LGBTQ+ students and colleagues year-round and why she is proud to be the University’s Executive Champion for LGBTQ+.

Juliet Amos
Juliet Amos

At its core, Teesside University is deeply committed to equality and inclusion.

Of course, we have a legal duty to support LGBTQ+ people as sex and sexual orientation are protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.

However, I believe it is vital that, like any good organisation or employer, we go beyond the basic, legal requirements when it comes to providing an inclusive space for our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues.

We’re proud to be a truly diverse campus, and we have a range of initiatives, campaigns and networks in place to help foster an environment in which LGBTQ+ people can thrive. We have been recognised by Stonewall for our dedication to creating a supportive workplace for LGBTQ+ colleagues.

First of all, commitment to inclusivity and diversity needs to come from the top, and, as a member of the University’s Executive Team, I am proud to be its LGBTQ+ champion. I believe my role helps to demonstrate Teesside University’s institution-wide commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

As champion, I can also celebrate the outstanding work of our LGBTQ+ Focus Group, a dedicated team of colleagues from across the University who are role models and allies. Together, we raise awareness around issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, tackle barriers, drive inclusivity, raise awareness through a range of university-wide events, and ultimately help improve the work and study experiences for our LGBTQ+ community.

That said, it’s the members of the group who are responsible for its successes.

Colleagues feel comfortable being their true selves and use their own talents and external networks to further the work of the University. We’re able to draw on existing connections with organisations working towards similar goals, such as Queer Base, a social group for the LGBTQ+ community.

Recently, colleagues from Teesside attended the inaugural conference of higher education LGBTQ+ networks, hosted by Northumbria University, and shared insight into their personal journeys and their work to support others at the University.

Sharing best practice around what we’re doing at Teesside University to support LGBTQ+ campaigns is very rewarding, as it directly helps us to make a real difference within our region. And I’m proud to say that we’ve put Teesside on the map as an inclusive and diverse organisation. Our work in this space is cited, by students and colleagues I have spoken to, as a reason they wanted to study or work at our University in the first place, which is fantastic to hear.

And let’s not forget the LGBTQ+ Society at Teesside University’s Students’ Union, which also provides a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ students and allies to build friendships.

Visible representation is extremely important, and we have a range of role models and allies who share their experiences and show that it’s okay to be who you are. Seemingly small actions like wearing a Pride lanyard and sharing pronouns all help LGBTQ+ people feel more comfortable and confident while working and studying here.

It’s a little thing, but one of my favourite public shows of support comes as we light up our campus’ tallest building with Pride colours throughout June. This colourful beacon on the Middlesbrough skyline shows LGBTQ+ communities that Teesside University offers a safe and supportive space for them.

We’re currently looking forward to hosting our latest event – Teesside University Pride, a free festival on Friday 30 June championing LGBTQ+ communities, celebrating acceptance and promoting wellbeing. We’re inviting students, colleagues and members of the public to come along and get involved. After all, togetherness and celebration are what Pride is all about.

There’s lots to look forward to, including a wellbeing walk led by Brengle the Therapy Dog, stalls representing a wide range of LGBTQ+ independent businesses, a literary hour, queer yoga sessions, singing performances and much more.

Even though our festival and Pride Month will soon be over for this year, Teesside University’s dedication to LGBTQ+ inclusion is a year-round commitment, and I can’t wait to share what we’ll be doing next.

Find out more about Teesside University Pride and its wider work to support LGBTQ+ students and colleagues by visiting

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