It's been approximately 6 months since RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) launched their Equality and Diversity unit and they have moved forward swiftly into the LGBTQ space with the establishment of a Staff Pride Network.
An expression of interest meeting of staff interested in promoting LGBT+ issues in RCSI was held on 9th February, hosted by Avril Hutch, the Head of the RCSI Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) unit. The event was well attended by staff from different areas of the college, including staff dialling in from remote campus locations. The meeting was led by a presentation from the Trinity LGBT Staff Network committee on our experiences in higher education, and by AIB on their journey as an LGBT+ Network in the HEI Commercial context (Mr. Tadhg MacCurtain).
This was followed by a Q&A session on issues such as the importance of institutional recognition and support from senior management, governance structure, events and publicity obstacles and how to overcome them, and the significance of non-LGBT ally support, particularly on remote campuses or in locations with cultural and legal challenges to LGBT activism.
It's fantastic to see how LGBT representation has progressed in the third level education sector in the past few years, and the Trinity LGBT Staff Network is delighted to see RCSI joining the field. There is significant value in networking across institutions in this area (not to mention the opportunity for fun social events!) and we're keen to see how the RCSI Network develops in the coming weeks and months.
Best of luck!
Contributed by Joel McKeever