Professor Duncan French
Pro Vice Chacellor and Head of College of Social Science
"As a gay man, and someone in a senior position with the University, it seems only right that I use my position to support and help others. I very much see my champion role as helping where I can, to raise issues of interest and concern, to support others especially the LGBT+ network, and to provide further opportunities for further representation and help show the importance of diversity and what embracing our diversity does to people’s emotional and professional confidence"
"The EDI space is extensive and there is always much more we can do. Universities – as with society – have come a long way in becoming increasing welcoming and accepting of diversity, but there remain challenges – both at the individual and structural level. Sexual orientation and gender identity are principal facets of an individual’s ability to be themselves, and “coming out” in whatever forms it takes is both a distinctly personal and, for many, constant activity. As an institution and as an employer, the University of Lincoln needs to lead the way in supporting its gay, non-binary and trans staff to be the best they can be.
Along with the Students’ Union, the University can also play a really important beacon role for the local community and break down misunderstandings and promote further inclusivity and diversity.
The main issues in this area are in some respects as varied as the gay and trans community, but if I had to choose three key areas that I personally think we should be looking at, they would be:
- Recent evidence suggests LGBT+ people suffer higher levels of mental health illness than the general population; this is something both as a community and an employer we should be worried about and can do more to support
- Supporting the LGBT+ community, especially trans colleagues, to be able to be themselves, feel accepted and prosper within the work environment
- Strengthen the LGBT+ network and representation across the University, recognising the intersectional nature of so many of our equality and diversity challenges".