Sector Overview

Education sector organisations play a key role in thinking about and shaping the world around us through teaching, research and practice. The education providers we work with are dedicated to ensuring that not only their LGBT staff, but also their LGBT students, are valued and celebrated at their organisations.

Most organisations in the sector have strong and dynamic LGBT staff networks that work to provide support, organise social activities, and influence their institutions’ policies and culture. Recognising their responsibility as global civic institutions, universities are particularly committed to incorporating LGBT considerations into their international work.

From academic roles and teaching to administration, counselling and project management, there are plenty of professional opportunities in this sector.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 58% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 48% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 46% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 79% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

Top sector for providing guidance on facilities and dress codes for non-binary staff (43%)
61% of organisations enable non-binary employees to have their identities recognised on workplace systems
73% of organisation support lesbian, gay and/or bi community events

Education section supported by The University of Sheffield

In Focus

Sarah Shahid, Clerical Assistant and Summer School Welfare Officer, The University of Sheffield

What does your job involve?Education - TUOS - Sarah Shahid

My role involves processing and registering students’ applications for our English Language courses. I’m also a full-time welfare officer during the Summer School, offering advice and support to students.

What’s it like being LGBT at the University of Sheffield?

I know I’m safe to be bi at the university. I feel supported and valued, with the freedom to be me. I can work without having to worry about phobic comments or the possibility of losing my job for being LGBT+. The University welcomes staff and students who identify as LGBT+ and we have support from senior staff.

Are you involved with the LGBT network at the University of Sheffield?

I am a bi role model at the university and have been involved with the LGBT+ staff network since it started in 2010. We meet in a relaxed and informal environment, discussing various issues and upcoming events. All LGBT+ staff are welcomed as it’s an inclusive group. I’m a cisgender female from an Asian background, as well as being disabled with many hidden disabilities. Being bi is part of who I am, and the other parts of my identity help me add a splash of diversity to our group!

Danni Kerr, Teaching Associate, Sheffield School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield

Education - TUOS - Danni Kerr
As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in your sector?

I believe I might be the only openly transgender person currently teaching in a UK School of Architecture. I’ve openly presented myself as a transgender woman in all my professional work for the last three years and I’m significantly more confident in my working relations than ever.

At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to other parts of your identity?

As a transgender person I’m part of a very small demographic which in itself contains a rainbow of diversity. As such, I very much rely on support and understanding, not just from my LGBT+ friends and colleagues, but from my cisgender and heterosexual friends and colleagues too.

Are you involved in any LGBT initiatives at work?

I’m very proud to be an official role model for the Royal Institute of British Architects. I want to show how a professional who happens to be LGBT+ can get on with their work, just like any other professional. In this way, all LGBT+ folk can push through the barriers that definitely still exist.

Stewart Campbell, Concerts Director, The University of Sheffield

Education - TUOS - Stewart CampbellHow did you come to work in the education sector?

As an undergraduate I worked as the manager of a large nightclub in Sheffield. Now, as director of University of Sheffield Concerts, I oversee a busy programme of concerts and festivals, as well as education and outreach work for public audiences.

What’s the best thing about working at your organisation?

The variety of connections and opportunities. The university’s a real melting pot of knowledge, expertise and ideas, so it’s an exciting place to work.

What’s it like being LGBT at your organisation?

I’m completely comfortable being out as a gay man to staff and students. The university fosters an open and inclusive culture which is highly visible. I led the Gay Icons Project which explored gender, sexuality and identity, and received tremendous encouragement from all parts of the institution. I’m also an LGBT+ role model at the university – it’s
important to show you can be successful and comfortable at work without
compromising who you are.