Straight white men are banned from lecturers’ equality conference

The event will only be open to women, LGBT members, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities

A lecturers’ union have decided white, straight, able-bodied men will be banned from equality conferences because members have to be able to demonstrate their “protected characteristic” in order to attend.

The conferences will be divided into four different sessions for women, LGBT members, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities. According to activists, members who do not fall into these four categories won’t be allowed to participate, despite having been elected by their union branch to attend, according to the Daily Mail.

The issue was raised at a UCU congress last week in Liverpool where a motion was proposed to allow equality reps to attend the conference without having to prove their ‘protected characteristic.’ However, the motion was defeated, making it the only proposal not to pass at the congress.

Yesterday, several critics reacted to the policies in outrage, with Emma Jane-Phillips, a committee member for UCU equality, telling the Daily Mail: “Equality reps are passionate about equality regardless of their own situation. To infer that someone does not understand someone’s situation just because you don’t tick a box is insulting.

“It is ridiculous that people who regard equality as their life can’t attend our equality conference.”

Ciara Doyle, a lecturer at the University of Greenwich, stated to the congress that she would not attend the conference if all equality reps gained admittance.

She expressed concern that the sessions would be dominated by people with no personal experience on matters relating to equality. She stated: “We see in the union movement that…some people’s voices are far louder than others.”

The first of the four conferences will take place over two days starting on 23rd June, and will discuss LGBT equality.