In order to comply with the specific duty in Wales to engage with different groups, Cardiff University held an engagement event with staff and students in November 2011 to help the university establish its equality objectives. A series of workshops, chaired by representatives from the third sector including Stonewall Cymru, explored the barriers and issues faced by staff representing particular protected characteristics.
The discussions around sexual orientation identified a number of issues, including a lack of awareness of the support available to lesbian, gay and bisexual staff and students, as well as incidents of homophobic behaviour in the university’s Athletic Union. The findings were used to inform the organisation’s Strategic Equality Plan.
This engagement also prompted the university to develop a specific lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender working group, which supports the organisation’s work towards a specific lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Action Plan. This action plan has been responsible for a number of successful initiatives that aimed to improve the staff and student experience, including a specific campaign that addressed homophobic language within the Athletic Union and encouraged lesbian, gay and bisexual students to take part in sport.