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ALLOUT Member Profiles2

pictures of ALLOUT members

and meet some more of our members...

Paul: “I started work as Timetabling Manager in Estates & Facilities in July 2014, having previously worked at Durham University and Accenture where I was involved with their staff networks. The University’s commitment to LGBT equality was one of my reasons for wanting to work here and it’s great to see their visible involvement with events like the Manchester Pride parade and rainbow flags flying from University buildings. This isn’t an organisation which just supports equality on paper but proudly – and quite literally – flies the flag for it.” (Paul Brierley – Timetabling Manager, Estates & Facilities)

Rachel: I have worked with the University for over 10 years as part of the Medical School and find it is a very supportive organisation to work for. There are brilliant activities organised, encouraged and endorsed by the University via the ALLOUT group, with communication via email on a regular basis. There are groups for parents returning to work, which although I didn't make use of, I knew they were available. The arrangements for amended hours due to childcare responsibilities are helpful as a member of academic staff.  Due to my multiple caring responsibilities and work commitments it can be hard (so far impossible) for me to attend face to face activities, but it’s really great knowing there are things out there that are happening and that there is visible support for staff. I think non-engagers like me are classified as 'lurkers' but it shouldn't be underestimated how beneficial this contact can feel when you can't personally take part in activities. In particular things like encouraging families to take part in the annual Pride parade feels welcoming for families. (Rachel Lindley, Senior Lecturer and GP, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health)

RogerWorking at this University for many years, I have noticed increasing attention and developments in relation to the equality and diversity agenda. At this institution I have always felt comfortable about being open of my sexuality, but I have had negative experiences elsewhere in the past. However, I know there is more work to be done. As part of my work, be it related to teaching, social responsibility, or  general oversight, I help ensure that the agenda continues to create the type of inclusive, supportive, communicative environment that I want to be a part of through my work. Recently I have been doing work in parts of the world that are directly homophobic in their legislation and widely held views. It was frightening as I am so used to talking about my husband and so on. I was reminded of how I felt when I first started work in the 1990’s and hid my sexuality. This experience highlighted how vital it is for our own university to have guidance, support and policies that would be relevant to ensure our safety regardless of what part of the world we are conducting university business that reflected individual’s sexual identity. (Roger Harrison (he/him) - Senior Lecturer in Public Health and member of Senate) 

Emma: I joined the university in 2005 as a temporary staff member and I never left. I have always been open with my sexuality as a gay woman and have received nothing but acceptance and warmth from all my colleagues. I have always found the university to be a very inclusive place to be if you are LGBT. When I was pregnant everyone at work is very excited for us and I have received many meaningful offers of support. I was also very fortunate to have a great line manager who was very flexible in accommodating the various appointments required for IVF, as well as all the antenatal appointments thereafter. The University is well known to have an excellent maternity package so it is an attractive place to start a family. There are also options for flexible working and parental leave to help achieve the right balance for your family. The campus nurseries also have good reputations and have joined the support group for returners from maternity, paternity and adoption leave. (Emma Dixon International Collaborations) 

Fidel: I have worked at the University for over 6 years now. Within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH), I started as a (maternity cover) research technician for the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG), helping the group get established. I then moved to another research technician role in a protein synthesis group before ending up in my current role as an export controls compliance officer within the Directorate of Compliance and Risk. As a gay man of mixed heritage, I have felt confident to express my individuality and felt welcomed by my peers. With a sizeable number of staff/students, there are numerous support networks to choose from, each with their own set of enriching activities/events. I am a member of the LGBT and BAME staff networks and I make every effort to participate as much as my current role would allow. Embracing these aspects of my identity has made me more self-aware and confident. It most certainly has made my time at the University that much more fulfilling. (Dr Fidel Peacock (he/him) - Export Controls Compliance Officer)

Louise: As a transgender woman I've always felt welcome at the University and very comfortable with the vast majority of colleagues and students. I've worked at the University for over 24 years, following three years as a student, and came out as transgender around 14 years ago. My role takes me to all corners of the University where I get to meet a diverse group of researchers. While every day is effectively trans day of visibility, I do think it's important to be pro-active, represent the diversity of the institution and most importantly help others in need of support. My time has been wonderful but not without incident, so it's key to remain vigilant and challenge intolerance. I know first-hand how daunting it is to come out as transgender but I hope my experience will show that this University is truly accepting and committed to everyone. (Louise Lever - Research Software Engineer, Research IT, IT Services)

Charlotte: I’ve worked at the University for more than 15 years now, starting as a temporary employee and then working in the Medical School, School of Computer Science and now School of Physics & Astronomy.  I’ve always found the University accepting, no matter what the background, or situation of an employee or indeed student. I’ve found the sense of collegiality the reason that I’ve stayed so long! Of course, that’s not to say it’s infallible and so having people who work hard to ensure that it’s known throughout the organisation that discrimination isn’t tolerated and that diversity should be celebrated, is vital to our wellbeing as a community. This is where the LGBT (and the other groups within the University) come into play, publicising both our multicultural nature, making people who may be unsure about their sexuality feel comfortable and safe, and offer those who need help, the support they may need. (Charlotte Hooson-Sykes - Executive Assistant, Condensed Matter Group, School of Physics & Astronomy)

Vic: I am a Careers Consultant within the University Careers Service, specialising in widening participation and working to ensure that all students are able to fulfil their future career ambitions. I joined the University on 23rd March 2020 so started my role remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I identify as queer, I’m a parent and also have a hidden disability and, even while working remotely, I have found the University to be a very supportive and welcoming environment. I love my job and value the part I am able to play in ensuring that all LGBTQ+ students have an advocate when they are planning their futures. I am proud to be part of the institution and the ALLOUT Staff Network. (Victoria Geary (she/her) - Careers Consultant)

Gary: Hi, I am Gary and I am Lay Member of the Board of Governors. As an out gay man, I was delighted when I was appointed to the board in 2015 whilst I was serving as CEO of a national youth charity. I now work as an Executive Coach and Non Exec Director dividing my time equally between paid work, social impact and fun! The University of Manchester is a stand out institution by making Social Responsibility one of its core strategic aims, but this in no way makes us complacent. Making the world a better and more inclusive place is challenging. Making sure we have students, staff and governors who are representative of our communities is a commitment that takes a lot of work and we still have some distance to go. UoM is definitely filled with the brilliance of our city. Greater Manchester fuelled suffrage, antislavery, the industrial revolution and the cooperative movement. Doing good is in our DNA and I am committed to making sure the University is a driver for positive social impact across the city and beyond. Gary Buxton (he/him) PCC, MBE Executive Coach & MD / Leading Dynamic Ltd

Heather: I first started working at the University of Manchester in 2012 as a temp, and after several years and a tiny trip outside of academia, I’m now a Technical Project Support Manager in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. In my variety of roles, I have never once felt that I had to hide myself and have been out as a bisexual woman my entire time here, and I have always felt supported and welcomed by colleagues. More recently I’ve become more involved in ALLOUT and currently chair the Pride Committee, which has only made me more open about my queer identity and how it’s not something that is brought into every part of my life, personal and professional. Heather Devine (she/her) - Technical Support Manager

More profiles of our members can be heard on our 'It Gets Better' Podcasts.

Members recount their stories and talk about issues such as their sexuality and faith, disability, family acceptance and being part of other marginalised communities.

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