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Understanding LGBTQUIA+ Staff Experiences

Staff Sexual Orientation Data

In 2022/23, 4.4% of our staff declared that they were LGBTQUIA+ by sexual orientation.

In terms of the breakdown of specific sexual orientations declared:

  • Bisexual - 2.2%
  • Gay man - 1.5%
  • Gay woman or lesbian - 0.6%
  • Other - 0.8%

72.5% of staff declared their sexual orientation, whilst 27.5% of staff chose 'Prefer not to say' or haven't answered the question yet.

Staff Culture Survey 2022

In 2022, the Social Inclusion Group ran a staff culture survey and focus groups to explore the sense of belonging and culture for staff here at Warwick.

You can find an overview of the institutional level results, along with more information about the survey here.

140 survey respondents indicated that they are LGBTQUIA+, which equates to approx. 9% of survey respondents. By comparison, 4.4% of staff have declared that they are LGBTQUIA+ on their staff record in SuccessFactors. This means that LGBTQUIA+ staff were well-represented in the survey, despite the relatively low sample size. The LGBTQUIA+ survey respondents thus represent over 40% of the known size of the LGBTQUIA+ staff community.

Overall LGBTQUIA+ staff inclusion rating

This rating is calculated from responses to the staff culture survey questions on staff’s ability to be themselves at work (authenticity), sense of belonging, and the sense that staff can achieve their full potential (equity).

The overall inclusion rating for all staff was 63% favourability ('agree' and 'strongly agree' responses), compared to 58% for LGBTQUIA+ staff. Breaking it down by the three contributing themes:

  • Authenticity: 71% favourability for LGBTQUIA+ staff (compared with 73% for all staff).
  • Belonging: 58% favourability for LGBTQUIA+ staff (compared with 65% for all staff).
  • Equity: 43% favourability for LGBTQUIA+ staff (compared with 47% for all staff).

Whilst following a broadly similar pattern across the three themes, LGBTQUIA+ staff show a lower favourability in each, with the largest difference occurring within questions on belonging.

Areas of greatest difference

Whilst sense of belonging was an area of relative strength for the University overall, there was a significant drop in sense of belonging for LGBTQUIA+ staff. In particular, sense of belonging in their department (62% compared to 67%) and sense of belonging at the University as a whole (55% compared to 62%).

LGBTQUIA+ Staff Focus Group

SEA-Change Consultancy were asked to conduct a focus group for LGBTQUIA+ staff. During this focus group, participants spoke about the importance of inclusive language and the awkwardness and difficulties that can arise from people using inappropriate language and the wrong pronouns. Participants described it being easier to be open about their sexual orientation than about their gender identity.

Participants agreed about the importance of safe spaces where people can be themselves, and be around other people who understand what it is like to live in a heteronormative environment.

Participants had different experiences of being out and coming out at the University. There was a sense of anticipation about how colleagues might react or view them differently, and an awkwardness about not wanting to make a big announcement, but still wanting people to know. However, being out also had its pressure to be a ‘representative’ and being asked for their views or information about LGBTQUIA+ issues, which can be exhausting.