Edinburgh University cuts ties with LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall

Other leading Scottish universities have also refused to participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index

The University of Edinburgh has refused to submit an application to Stonewall’s 2022 Workplace Equality Index, a set of tables that allow employers, such as universities, to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.

Edinburgh and other leading Scottish universities including Glasgow University, the University of the West of Scotland, and Robert Gordon University, have all refused to submit applications, The Telegraph reports.

In previous years Edinburgh University has openly expressed its pride in participating in the Workplace Equality Index, writing on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion section of its website: “The University was delighted to increase 80 places, ranked 121st, in the September 2019 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, announced February 2020. This marks an increase of 200 places in the four years we submitted”.

This follows on from UCL’s decision to cut all ties with Stonewall in December 2021, after senior staff members argued that being a member of Stonewall’s programmes could shut down academic debate over sex and gender.

In their Workplace Equality Index, Stonewall ranks institutions on factors like the availability of gender-neutral facilities and their use of language in the workplace.

Edinburgh University declined to comment on why they were not participating in the Index this year, but said: “The University is committed to LGBT+ equality and continues to proactively promote LGBT+ inclusion. We make decisions about the various equality charters in the context of our overall Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and the resources available”.

A Stonewall spokeswoman said the Workplace Equality Index is: “Simply a free and voluntary benchmarking tool which many organisations find helpful for reflecting on their own LGBTQ+ inclusion journey.

“As with any voluntary resource, organisations can enter – or not enter – depending on what works for them at the time.”

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