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Rainbow Allies

Relaunched Rainbow Ally Programme - April 2021

The Rainbow Allies programme exists to empower members of our community to create an open, safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQUA+ colleagues, students, and visitors at Warwick.

The Rainbow Allies Programme is open to all who commit to being an ally to LGBTQUA+ people.

We do encourage anyone who identifies as LGBTQUA+ to join the Staff NetworkLink opens in a new window or for students Warwick SU PrideLink opens in a new window.

At Warwick, our values and expectations facilitate an environment where the ability to voice ideas is at its core, a place in which staff and students operate with mutual respect, with the confidence that opportunity is accessible to all. By committing to the allies scheme you are committing to expected behaviours and principles.

“We” means all of us, students, staff, and visitors.

  • We model the behaviours we expect. We provide visible leadership to drive the cultural change required.
  • We believe in education as a positive force. We support people to understand our expectations.
  • We speak out and challenge inappropriate behaviour, where it is safe to do so. We encourage, equip and support people to do so.
  • When our principles are not adhered to, we take prompt action.
  • We are open and transparent and willing to learn from our mistakes.
  • We welcome feedback.
  • We hold ourselves accountable.

The promotion of ED&I concerns all of us and is the responsibility of all members of the University’s community. As members of this community, it is expected that we will contribute to ensuring that Warwick continues to be a safe, welcoming and productive environment. The University views harassment or discrimination against any member of staff or students on any grounds as a serious disciplinary offence.

Allies are not expected to be experts on sexuality and/or gender identity but must be committed to ongoing learning, challenging inappropriate language and behaviour, and examining their own biases.

How to become a Rainbow Ally

It is important that everyone who signs up is committed to becoming an active ally and advocating for LGBTQUA+ Inclusion. Therefore, we ask that you complete the two training modules before signing up:

Once you have completed the training modules, you can complete the online registration form to become a Rainbow AllyLink opens in a new window 

After you have signed up as a Rainbow Ally

Once that you have made a commitment to be a Rainbow Ally, we recommend that you:

  • Continue to familiarise yourself with the 'LGBTQUA+ Getting StartedLink opens in a new window' webpage.
  • If you having teaching responsibilities, engage with the trans-inclusive pedagogy portal.
  • Join the Queer & Trans PedagogiesLink opens in a new window learning Circle.
  • Commit to ongoing learning on issues that affect members of the LGBTQUA+ Community, and to share this learning with others.
  • Actively challenge and unlearn you own biases.
  • Get involved in organising events to educate others and celebrate LGBTQUA+ people.
  • Attend LGBTQUA+ events.
  • We encourage you to download the 'I am a Rainbow Ally' imageLink opens in a new window to add to your email signature.
  • Include your prefered pronouns on your email signature, and use these when you introduce yourself in meetings.
  • Attend the ‘Challenging inappropriate behaviours’ workshop and consistently challenge inappropriate language and behaviour.
  • Think about what you can do in your role/department to further promote an LGBTQUA+ inclusive environment.
  • Think about whether the language used on promotional material, policies, webpages is gender-neutral (read more about gender-neutral language here Link opens in a new window).
  • Commit to not gendering individuals whose gender identity is not known to you.

The programme supports Rainbow Allies, regardless of sexuality and/or gender identity, to progress equality and promote a working and learning environment where individuals can be themselves and are supported and respected.

You can read more about Allies in the FAQs at the bottom of this page.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is/is not an ally?

An Ally is not:

  • On a pedestal.
  • Perfect - language and terminology change fast, if you make a mistake you should apologise, correct yourself, and recommit to learning.
  • Always senior.
  • Heroic or extraordinary.
  • A saviour.
  • The same as all other allies.
  • Someone who knows all the answers.

An ally is anyone who acts to bring about positive change for people who identify differently to them!

You can explore more about allyship by exploring this guide.

Who can be a Rainbow Ally?

We welcome anyone who wishes to visibly support the LGBTQUA+ community, ensure equality, and commit to taking actions to create an inclusive environment where everyone can be themselves. Anyone can be an Ally whether they are heterosexual, cisgender, or identify as LGBTQUA+. However, those who identify as LGBTQUA+ are encouraged to join the Staff Network or SU Pride.

Why does Warwick need an Rainbow Allies Programme?

The promotion of ED&I concerns us all and is the responsibility of all members of our community. Creating an inclusive environment is only possible if individuals, promote positive respectful behaviour.

LGBTQUA+phobia exists at Warwick and needs to be actively challenged. Signing up to be a Rainbow Ally is a way to commit to ongoing learning to challenge phobias when they are witnessed, and be confident to hold conversations about terminology, and inclusive behaviours. It has been identified that individuals often feel uneasy and fear getting terminology wrong and often disengage. There are still negative perceptions, prejudices, and discrimination in wider society and in some countries it is still illegal to be LGBTQUA+.

As an Ally what do I do if I witness inappropriate behaviour and language?

If you witness or hear inappropriate language/behaviour respectfully speak up and challenge.

If you are concerned about a situation or an individual, speak to a line manager or report it through Report and SupportLink opens in a new window (you can report anonymously or request to speak to a Liaison Officer) and refer to the Dignity at Warwick PolicyLink opens in a new window.